Timipre Silva may be taking a walk on the right side of history, what with his initiative to harness Nigeria’s vast gas resources. He said on live television that Nigerians can come forward to have their vehicles converted from using petrol to gas. He also said the conversation will extend to small capacity generators. This initiative is a potential game changer.
“The alternative we are now introducing is gas, which is definitely going to be cheaper than the subsidised rate of PMS. So, what we are trying to encourage Nigerians to do now is to convert their cars to dual fuel.” The minister was quoted as saying.
The move immediately, offers an array of energy choices for Nigerians at the pumps, he said.
“And when you convert your car for free, you go to the filling station, you see the price of PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) you see the price of gas, you can decide to buy LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) or CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), you can decide to buy LNG (Liquefied Natural gas). These are all going to be available and we are going to have a roll out plan for this within October.”
no doubt, is motivated by the fact that Nigeria is sitting on the 9th largest gas reserve in the world of approximately 203.16 trillion cubic feet. Unfortunately, about 10 percent of the gas is been flared. Sylvia’s new deal will put a stop to this age long practice.
Silva, who is minister of state for Petroleum Resources, says there are implications for climate change should Nigeria go this route of using clean energy. Indeed, fossil fuel has long been identified as one of the villains responsible for climate change as its use emits harmful gases to the atmosphere, which has lacerating effects on the Ozone layer.
The minister further opened the eyes of Nigerians to the vast funding possibilities that will open up for Nigeria if Nigeria sticks to clean energy. Nigeria can save up on carbon credits that will translate to much needed funding. This is especially crucial at a time like this when Nigerians are crying over mounting government debt and escalating debt to GDP ratio.
“It will become cheaper and cleaner. Of course, our carbon emissions will actually reduce and we are expecting to gain some money from climate change (sic) for reducing our carbon emission. This is going to be a policy direction that will create a lot of opportunities.”
But there are far more gains to be made from this move by Nigerians. Electricity generation will immediately pick up if gas is suddenly prevalent. Remember, the Gencos have complained that their biggest problem is gas generation. Besides, if they are not able to do that by any chance, (which will be remote anyway), there would be enough gas in cylinders for people to run their generators with.
So much gas in supply, which is a cheaper alternative to petrol, Will immediately shoot up productivity of businesses across board. It will have a buoying effect on their bottom lines. This will lead to expansion, better paid employees and ultimately, a rise in GDP and prosperity. Indeed, Nigerians may forget Silva for any other achievements but not this one. His name will be remembered just like the name Udoji of the Udoji awards of the 1970s.
To aforementioned extent, Nigerians have reasons to look forward to Silva’s new deal. But it will be prudent to let Nigerians know the time frame for the conversion of their automobiles and generators to gas powered machines. Such a move gives a sense of reachability to Nigerians and even government.
Nigerians would also be interested in how much the project would cost the government so that they can make their own rough cost-benefit analysis. With that they can see for themselves the economic cost of the project. They would also be glad to know the savings the project will make for government. Nigerians are a very curious set.
But overall, this is a very forward thinking project that can turn around the fortunes of Nigeria and therefore should be encouraged.
Sylva graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with distinction in English (Linguistics) in 1986. At the time, he was the best graduating student from his department and departmental valedictorian. He was subsequently awarded a Doctor in International Relations (Honoris causa) by the UBIS University in 2011.
He is a former governor of Bayelsa State was appointed by President Buhari on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, as the Nigerian Cabinet Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.