The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu expressed his concern over the data from the IOCs (International Oil Companies) and DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources) on gas flaring, saying they appear not to be the true reflection of what transpires in the field.
He stated yesterday at the Gas Competence Seminar in Abuja, that the Federal Government yearly loses between $500m and $1bn to the falsification of gas flare data. He says this is done in order to lower the penalties charged by the Government on gas flaring.
The seminar, which was themed: “Towards ending gas flaring and unlocking gas potential in Nigeria”, served as a platform Dr. Kachikwu to announce his ministry’s plan to introduce an independent tracking mechanism to check the wanton doctoring of the gas flare data from next year.
Kachikwu said: “There is an urgency of yesterday to drive the policy that would enable us get out of gas flaring. I hear you talking about 10 per cent non-compliance, meaning that we have achieved a 90 per cent factor. My feeling is that these numbers are very mistaken.
“Beginning next year, we will be putting up an independent tracking mechanism, not relying on figures from the IOCs (International Oil Companies)and from DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources), to find out really what is the flare volume. My feeling is that there are a lot of management of those figures to suit the cap of the penalties that are being charged.
“My take is that we lose over half a billion to a billion of government revenue looking at the basis of the present penalties position. Nobody is effectively monitoring the volume, so when you actually go for the real effect of what is flared, in terms of statistics, it is much higher than that figures. However, we must appreciate the efforts that have been done in the past, efforts to increase penalties among others.”
He emphasised the need for the country to commercialise its gas resources, stating that crude oil alone cannot sustain the economy.
According to him intensive gas commercialisation, utilisation and transportation would inject life into the economy.
He expressed surprise at Nigeria’s inability to resolve its electricity challenges in spite of the producing a lot of gas.
Speaking earlier at the same seminar, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde R. Fashola (SAN) had said that the challenges of the country’s power sector were man-made and not as much due to technical difficulties.
He decried the continued sabotage of the country’s gas assets which had heavily affected the country’s power supply as most of the country’s gas power plants could not get gas.