* As nation awaits Imo gas plan
By Sabi Elemba, Owerri
The federal government has disclosed that Imo State alone has over 200 trillion cubic feet of gas and other natural minerals including crude oil. The FG also said gas is a catalyst for Nigeria’s socio-economic renaissance, but stakeholders seem eager to know the plan of the Imo State government to to carve a place for action within the national gas plan.
Chief Temipre Silva, minister of state for petroleum, who spoke in the Imo State capital, Owerri, at a programme on gas, said that the year 2020 was declared a year of gas and that the inauguration of heads of committees on the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) was done on January 16, 2020.
He however said the federal government has declared the year 2020 to 2030 as the decade of gas.
NGEP, according to him, is an initiative designed to reinforce and to expand gas supply as well as to stimulate demand in Nigeria through the effective and efficient mobilization and utilization of all facets of resources and infrastructure in Nigeria.
He said NGEP will also promote the use of natural gas as the main energy source for sustained industrialization through the establishment of gas-based industries such as petrochemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, textiles, etc.
He said that the programme had already taken place in Ekiti and Anambra states.
Another objective of NGEP, he added, is that human capital will be developed and jobs would also be created in the gas sub-sector.
On implementation strategy, Sylva said, “While the year 2020 was dedicated to harmonious creation, the year 2021 and beyond is for programme implementation”.
He commended Gov Hope Uzodinma for his commitment, passion and support for the programme and enjoined Imo residents to embrace the programme.
Meanwhile, Gov Uzodinma who spoke through the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Paul Emeziem, described the programme as that of change, loaded with cost, efficiency, and sustainability alternatives among others.
The governor commended the federal government for initiating the programme adding that it is a progress in the area of development and civilization of mankind.
“The federal government has done its bit and it is a process of enhancement and our life process and it will create employment opportunity for our people” he stated, even as the programme attracted goodwill messages from a number of Imo state government officials.
Stakeholders who preferred anonymity urged the state government to come up with a plan on how to play a role in the gas master plan and create opportunity for Imo people.