By ibrahima yakubu
The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has recently, announced a three-point strategy which is aimed at bringing an end to gas flaring in the country in the next two years .
This announcement has attracted the attention of many citizens and Non-governmental organization NGO including Civil society organization CSO on environment as they expressed satisfaction.
He said that the multi-pronged approach taken by the group would ensure a sustainable solution to the historical problem of flaring that is contributing to climate change, and other environmental challenges.
According to the GMD, the multi-pronged approach taken by the NNPC would ensure a sustainable solution to the historical problem of flaring, thereby turning waste into dollars.
The 3-point strategy championed by NNPC to arrest the growth in gas flares includes ,Non-submission of Field Development Plans (FDPs) to the industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), without a viable and executable gas utilisation plan.
Secondly ,Steady reduction of existing flares through a combination of targeted policy interventions in the Gas Master-plan,and thirdly re-invigoration of the flare penalty through the 2016 Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), and through legislation, that is, place ban on gas flaring via the recent Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018, and ensuring non-submission of Field Development Plans (FDPs) to the Industry Regulator – the Department Petroleum Resources (DPR), without a viable and executable gas utilization plan, a move aimed at ensuring no new gas flare in current and future projects.
This development, Baru added, would not only see Nigeria dropping from being the second highest gas flaring nation in the world to seventh, it would also signify a major milestone in its gas commercialization prospects.
He says , NNPC has embarked on the most aggressive expansion of the gas infrastructure network aimed at creating access to the market.
Dr. Baru further noted that aside looping Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS 2) gas pipeline projects to increase gas volume capacity to at least 2Bcf/day, the corporation has recently signed the contracts to kick off the 614Km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project, which on completion, would deliver gas to the ongoing power plants in the areas and revive the manufacturing industries in the northern part of the country.
He assured that there was evidence that the interventions undertaken by the corporation were working as gas supply to the domestic market is growing at an encouraging rate, having tripled from 500mmcf/d in 2010 to about 1500mmcf/d currently.
Another energy experts from kaduna ,North western Nigeria ,Mallam Nurudeen Bello who expressed bitterly over slow reaction by Nigerian Government to end fossil fuel project in the country.
Bello who is a biology scientist ,and climatologist by profession told journalists that Operating gas flaring in developed countries is on the rise and without adequate technology to control it
He says ,In Nigeria the government is yet to establish a clear policy on gas flaring although they are members of OPEC which have signed agreement on world control / storage of gas flaring. Environment health and climate advocate have predict the hazard associated to gas flaring right from animals to plants and increase in annual temperature.
The Niger Delta region of Nigeria has suffered all forms of pollution and degradation arising from oil and natural gas exploitation. These include a decrease in agricultural yield, depression in flowering and fruiting in Okro and palm trees, deformities in children, liver damage and skin problems, increasing concentrations of airborne pollutants, acidification of soils and rainwater, corrosion of metal roofs and significant increases in concentrations of sulphates, nitrates and dissolved solids, with associated socio-economic problems.
There is urgent need for scientific study and analysis of the effect of gas flaring on the different environmental compartments in the Niger Delta.
“If gas flaring must stop, Government has to be serious; agencies of government have to be committed and other stakeholders in the oil industry must be sincere”
The remedies for the control of free gas into the air are to convert it to useable/cooking gas. The average Nigerian is yet to see /know the affordability of cooking gas. It is cheap and easy to use is environmental friendly and as well as reduce the effect of climate change. Module refineries should be built specifically for the utilization of these gases into cooking gas for family usage.
The need for a sustainable environment by reducing harmful effects of climate change has been overturned by global debates, calling for an end to human activities that contribute to the depletion of the earth as well as the health of the people. This fight against earth depletion and its harmful effects is no longer bizarre; it’s about adopting measures to phase out fossil fuels and cutting the emission of greenhouse gasses while ensuring energy security.
Renewable energy technologies can also make indirect contributions to alleviating poverty by providing energy for cooking, space heating, lighting and contributing to education by providing electricity to schools, adding also that heads of government and legislators should be held accountable for any fossil fuels project.
Renewable Energy Programme is one of the many alternatives chosen to fight the menace of climate change. In achieving this there have been sensitization programmes and advocacy campaigns by different environmental rights groups and non-governmental organisations to aid the adoption of renewable energy.
Government must play a useful role in promoting renewable energy technologies by initiating surveys and studies to establish their potential in both urban and rural areas.
Nigeria needs an energy policy which stresses the development of renewable energy resources and technology. The development of renewable energy services is linked to many other sectors such as agriculture, small scale industrial enterprises and poverty alleviation,.
Additionally, he urge government to quicken measures that will end gas flaring. This should run side by side with supporting efforts by both private and public investors, with appropriate interventions that will make our environment safe from the socio-economic hazards of gas flaring. Government should fine-tune all institutional, legal, regulatory and fiscal policy frameworks that impede efforts to end gas flaring in the country.
He concluded by saying that ,In moving towards earth’s decarbonisation and a healthy environment across African countries, great responsibilities also lies with individuals ,which is geared toward cut down emissions and replacing existing archaic high-risk technologies.