The Newsmen reports that Ibrahim made the assertion on Wednesday at a webinar on Gas as an alternative fuel for Nigerians.
It was organised by the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) in collaboration with Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream.
Ibrahim, represented by Dr Abner Ishaku, Programme Manager, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Utilisation, NGEP, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was committed to deepening gas usage in Nigeria.
He said: “The NGEP is a programme put in place by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in furtherance of the domestic gas expansion programme of the current administration.
“The programme is designed to reinforce and expand domestic gas supply and stimulate demand in the country through the effective and efficient mobilisation and utilisation of all available assets, resources and infrastructure in the country.
”The deliverables of the programme include the development of a strong domestic gas-based economy by leveraging on the nation’s abundant gas potential.
“It includes promotion of gas as a replacement fuel, which will also save the nation the much-needed forex expended on imported fuel and provide alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) for Nigerians.”
According to him, this commitment has been further expressed with the ongoing efforts to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and the flag off of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline.
Ibrahim said it included the inauguration of a Committee on Gas Sector-Wide Review of the Domestic Gas Pricing Framework, the Gas Network Code and moves for the conversion of vehicles in the country to autogas.
He said others were the Domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas (DLPG) expansion, CNG for Power and Electricity as well as Gas Based Industries (GBI) Revitalisation.
On his part, Mr Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman, MOMAN said there was an opportunity for investors to collaborate with government to invest in CNG as an alternative fuel to PMS.
Oyebanji said:” In Nigeria, gas is readily available, cheaper and less maintenance cost on equipment powered with it.
“In post-COVID-19, the price of refined petroleum products (PMS and AGO) will rise from its present level due to higher demands for crude as most economies that were hitherto locked down open for production.
“This will push up the price of PMS and AGO, energy fuels mostly used in Nigeria, hence the need for alternative fuel for Nigerians.”
He said MOMAN was in support of the gas expansion programme and how domestic gas utilisation could be deepened to enable the government to conclude the ongoing process of full deregulation of petroleum products.
In his remarks, Mr Emeka Akabogu, Chairman, OTL Africa, commended the government on its efforts to facilitate increased deployment and use of autogas in the country.
Akabogu said: “We must warn, however, that the role of government in this regard should be limited to facilitation by way of incentives, guidelines and monitoring regulatory compliance, and not delving into operations.
“This will ensure focus on policy, short of the distractions that could arise from procurement, recruitment and related operational issues.”