“Despite having a generous gas endowment of approximately 206 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) in proven reserves, ranking among the top ten in the world, and with over 600 TCF unproven, current per capita consumption of gas in Nigeria is one of the lowest within the sub region,” The Guardian newspaper quotes Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylvia, as saying.
He stated this at the 2021 yearly sub-Saharan African Oil and Gas Conference organized by Energy & Corporate Africa and tagged ”The future of Upstream and Deepwater Development, Advancing Digitization and Gas Development Options in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
With the rapidly growing population of Nigeria, expected to outgrow that of the USA in about 20 years, Sylvia feared that the upsurge in the continent’s population could be challenging if not treated as an opportunity.
According to UN predictions, the present global population of 7.6 billion people will grow to 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.6 billion in 2060. In the year 2100, there will be 11.2 billion people on earth.
“A small number of countries will be responsible for the majority of the global growth. Half of the world’s population increase is anticipated to occur in just five nations in Africa between 2017 and 2050. They are Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Uganda,” Sylva said.
Speaking at the conference, which held in Houston, Texas, Sylvia said a reform of the global and regional energy systems in Sub-Saharan Africa was sacrosanct, adding that there was need to persist in expanding the role and opportunities of natural gas towards recovery and shared prosperity for a sustainable sub-Saharan Africa and the world in general.
“Hence, the current policy of the government is to promote the utilization of natural gas in Nigeria. It is expected that natural gas will provide the much-needed alternative to premium motor spirit (PMS or Petrol) and firewood,” Sylvia said.
The minister noted that the lessons of COVID-19 must make the continent focus on reengineering supply chains for the new global order, stressing that the industry is no stranger to supply and demand shocks, having faced more than a dozen such jolts over the course of the past four decades.