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Nigeria’s Gas Master Plan not obsolete ― Experts 

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Experts in the oil and gas sector have countered the claim that ’s Gas Master Plan is obsolete to make the country a fully liberalised gas market. 

They, however, said that there should be proper enforcement of legislation for the country to fully achieve its potential in the gas sector.

Tribune Online gathered that the Gas Master Plan was approved on February 13, 2008 as part of Nigeria’s resolve to become a major international player in the international gas market as well as to lay a solid framework gas infrastructure expansion within the domestic market.

In a communique on Industry Bill Education Series to Tribune Online, the Immediate past Group Executive Director– Gas & Power, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) between 2011-2015, Dr. David Ige said the Plan came to being as a policy document to manage transition and confront future realities. 

David, who is now the Chief Executive Officer of Gas Invest, noted that there is no policy that is evergreen, citing case of reforms in the United States of America and United Kingdom to justify his submission.

Ige questioned whether it was domestic obligation requirement, the pricing transition or the recommendation of the document that makes the Plan obsolete.

“The Gas Master Plan was written as a policy document to manage the transition of a gas sector that almost did not exist before to a gas sector that will confront future realities. 

“The document stated specifically that in five years now it will be adapted and subsequently adapted.

“There is no policy document that is evergreen. It is a continuous process.  If you look at the reforms in the United Kingdom and United States, these were reforms that took over 20 years from the days where you have monopoly of the British Gas.

“When someone says it is obsolete, I am trying to understand what part of it is obsolete. 

“Is it the domestic obligation requirement which forms the basis of the gas that we were seeing that is obsolete? 

“Is it the pricing transition from 10 cents to commercial price that is obsolete? Is it the recommendation of a document that says you need a regulator to transition you to a fully competitive market? Or is it the infrastructure blueprint? Quite frankly, I don’t understand.” David said. 

Speaking also, Dr. Rabiu Bello, a former NNPC Chief Operating Officer Upstream, noted that easy transition into full liberalized gas market is a product of a sound regulator; hence, the Master Plan is not the bottleneck at all. 

Bello explained that the vertically integrated players who control the infrastructure must be allowed access and the connectivity between the buyer and the seller must exist for the country to be fully liberalized.

“If you don’t have a regulator, you cannot easily transition into fully liberalized gas market. That has nothing to do with policy document but lack of legislation. 

“There must be connectivity between the buyer and the seller and the vertically integrated players who control the infrastructure are not allowed access.

“So, it has nothing to do with the policy. It is the problem of the enforcement of the legislation. The Master Plan tells you the journey-where it started and where it ended. It is a policy document not an implementation document.” Rabiu stated.

Samuel Nelson
OduNews on Google News

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