Ben Ezechime, Enugu
Ogbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution System, Facility and Retailing Infrastructure, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, has said that Imo State had the largest Gas reserve in the country.
He disclosed this while speaking to Journalists at a stakeholders engagement meeting on Gas Utilisation for the South-East zone in Enugu.
Ukoha further urged industry operators and businesses to take advantage of the evolving business opportunities in the gas value chain.
He said the objective of the engagement meeting was to enlighten the end user category to “urgently obtain the requisite petroleum storage license and to engender the transition from white products to gas at the last mile.”
The executive director said the authority’s regulations defined the licensing regimes, procedures and standards for handling petroleum products which when breached lose increased risks.
“In addition, gas as the transition fuel represents a cleaner and cost-effective energy source.
“We encourage operators and businesses to take advantage of the evolving opportunities in the gas value chain for sustainable business growth by positioning their energy needs to embrace gas derivatives,” he said.
Ukoha enjoined all petroleum handlers to fully comply with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act and NMDPRA regulations to avoid strong regulatory enforcement.
According to him, the authority’s statutory mandate “remains to enable industry growth.”
In his address of welcome, the Chief Executive Officer of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed said there was need for large consumers of petroleum products to operate within the regulatory space.
The CEO, whose speech was read by Ogbugo Ukoha, said this was necessary for the growth of the sector.
“This epoch making engagement seeks to encourage large consumers of petroleum products to not only operate within the regulatory space, but also to become aware of the comparative advantages between the different fuels,” he said.
He said it was hoped that the stakeholders engagement would create the necessary awareness among the industry stakeholders.
“To make the compelling case for industry operators to foster a compliance culture which alone guarantees safer and sustainable facilities,” Ahmed said.
Also speaking, the Director Safety and Health, Etuk Bassey, said that gas usage was safe.
“Some people say that gas usage is risky because it is highly inflammable; but I can authoritatively say that gas usage is very safe,” he said.
The engagement with stakeholders by NMDPRA was being held in the six geopolitical zones of the country.