Zero gas flaring by 2020 no longer possible, says FG

Barely five months to the 2020 deadline announced by the Federal Government to end gas flaring in the Niger Delta, government has said the projection may remain elusive.

Programme Manager, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), Justice Derefaka, who spoke in Abuja at the unveiling of a documentary, produced by Africa Initiative for Transparency, Accountability and Responsible Leadership on the impact of the country’s corruption and growing conflict on investment on the nation’s economy, said not all gas flare sites would go next year.

While the former Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr. Maikanti Baru, had announced that the nation would achieve zero gas faring next year, former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, insisted Federal Government’s target to ensure Nigeria exits the practice of flaring gas next year remained.

As the projected time draws near, Derefaka admitted that the government was experiencing slips, requesting a change of timeline, as directed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“We have gone back to the drawing board to come up with a robust timeline, where we will actualise some of it. Federal Government has said it would end gas flaring by 2020, but the United Nations’ deadline is 2030. Not all the flare sites will go by 2020. Some will go next year and the rest after.

“The reason is that we are not looking to construct long pipelines. But we are looking at scalable technology that can be used to harness flare…” he said.

Derefaka disclosed that the government’s gas commercialisation plan would sustainably create value around gas flaring to save lives, the environment and enable the government to generate revenue.

He said the government is looking at investment hovering around $3.5bn, as well as 300, 000 direct and indirect jobs through the gas commercialisation plan.

Meanwhile, other stakeholders that gathered at the event expressed worry over the grave impact of the country’s corruption and growing conflict on investment. They said the challenges in the nation’s economic indexes and dangers facing the oil-producing region may persist unless urgent measures were taken.

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