Marketers of petroleum products under the umbrella of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) have stressed the need to speed up the development of alternative energy sources like gas and solar, so that every Nigerian can have access to cheaper and cleaner energy.
MOMAN also stated that the new federal government's policy on alternative energy as well as the coming on stream of modular refineries, would help in actualising Nigeria's dream of becoming the refining hub of West and Central Africa and a net exporter of petroleum products in the world.
The Chairman of MOMAN, Mr. Tunji Oyebanji, made this suggestion in a statement, adding that Nigeria has an opportunity to go big in alternative energies such as gas and solar energy.
He said Nigeria must gird its loins to ensure that these green alternative energy sources were strategically developed and their usage deepened across the country for the benefit of Nigerians.
According to Oyebanji, cheaper and cleaner alternatives to petrol and diesel must be made available to the public especially as full deregulation of the Nigerian petroleum downstream sector commences.
He hinted that the association was also supporting the gas initiatives of the federal government and keying into the auto gas space to give Nigerians a cleaner and greener alternative to power their automobiles, homes and other equipment.
"The idea of deepening the use of gas comes at a very auspicious time as we grapple with increasing petrol prices due to the deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector," he said.
According to the statement, marketers, who are in total support of the new energy strategy of the federal government, recently organised the Nigerian Compressed Natural Gas (CGN) Webinar in collaboration with the Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream and ARS Conference Services with key stakeholders in the country's oil and gas sector in attendance.
At the event, gas as a cheaper and greener replacement fuel for automobiles in Nigeria was unveiled, followed by the dissecting of the broad spectrum of its untapped potential across the downstream energy value chain, with its opportunities for government, investors, and consumers highlighted.
The marketers explained that the webinar reinforced government's commitment to gas deployment strategy, and addressed issues around policy framework, infrastructure, sustainability, and usability.
According to the marketers, the imperative to develop CNG and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as alternative to petrol and other fuels had never been more critical, especially with the recovering crude oil prices and the rising demand of refined products as we approach the winter months in Europe.
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The statement further said: "Using other countries where gas has been adopted and integrated as an alternative auto fuel as case studies, gas requires government support and interventions to take root. The gas value chain is awash with opportunities for new investment, skills development, and enhancement of our local public transportation infrastructure.
"Clear policy directives and legislative framework aimed at generating demand, as well as Customs duty and tax waivers will be required and fast-tracked to jump-start the sector and attract investment into the gas space".
It said the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) has further engaged stakeholders across the energy value chain to push government's gas agenda, following its recent stakeholders' consultative webinar in conjunction with the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN).
The MOMAN statement added: "In essence, the NGEP is bringing together all relevant government agencies to ensure that the gas space is business-friendly and conducive enough to encourage new investors into the sector.
"Nigeria, being a gas country, must be able to benefit locally from its abundant gas reserves and transfer the advantages to the Nigerian consumer."