Rivers State government makes giant stride in gas sector

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The Rivers state Government appears to be making giant strides in the gas sector of the state.

Checks by our correspondent Chinedu Iwunna indicates that the Gas Master Plan of the state government is currently being implemented.


Our correspondent gathered that an under ground gas pipeline which runs from Transamadi to the Nigeria Port Authority in Abonnema warf area is also being expanded to the reclamation area in the Town axis of Port Harcourt.


Efforts are also being made to extend the pipeline to Choba and Greater Port Harcourt areas in Rivers state.


In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, the Rivers state Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Doctor Peter Medee who spoke on the development, said state government has silently achieved so much in the gas sector.


Medee also disclosed that there have been massive investments in the sector as most of the companies in the state are making use of industrial gas from the Rivers state gas companies.



"As we speak, we have two franchise areas in Rivers state from the Rivers state Gas Master Plan. One of the franchise area is being handled by Ondo Gas which is piloted by Central Horizone. Then we have the other franchise area that is being handled by Shell Nigerian Gas. So the gas master plan of Rivers state is divided into two franchise Areas," the Commissioner disclosed.


He continued, "As we speak today industrial gas is the in thing. By the industrial gas sector and the effort His excellency ( Governor Nyesom Wike) is doing and has done, we are seeing this companies today that are in Rivers state and you know when there are a lot of those investments , not only will there be productivity ,but there is also going to be high level of employment which will solve unemployment".





The Commissioner further appealed to more companies in Rivers state to begin to make use of the industrial gas which he believed will create enough market for investors in the gas sector.


Speaking on the Challenges in the gas sector ,the Energy and Natural Resources Commissioner said the illegal activities in the use in LPG has posed some challenges in the sector. He however lamented that since most of the activities in the gas sector are in the Exclusive Legislative list , there is little the state government can do in terms of regulation.


Despite the impediments, the commissioner said government has set up Gas Monitoring Committee to check mate the illegal activities in the LPG sector in collaboration with the Department of Petroleum Resources.


In his words" the only thing we are doing now in Rivers state is to partner with the respective Federal Government agencies to see how we can monitor to ensure that those operating, operate under requisite guidelines in terms of safety. So as we speak, we have done the stakeholders engagement with the respective associations and unions guiding this gas sector. We have also done sensitatzation through which we have been able to let Rivers people understand that there are certain things you do that are illegal. For example, if you have a gas outlet and in the gas outlet, you are decanting gas, that's illegal, that's unsafe".


He further stated that "We have a dedicated Gas Monitors Committee. As we speak now they about going into town. From time to time they will go to those gas outlets,they will go to the gas plants. When they go to the gas plant, what are they looking out for? The location of the gas plant, is it safe?, is it not safe? How are they conducting their activities?"


According to findings, the Gas Monitoring Committee are expected to report defaulting gas outlets to the ministry who will forward the report to the DPR to sanction the outlets.


The state Commissioner further called for more investors to take advantage of opportunities that abound the industrial gas sector.



He said; "Prospective investors should begin to come to Rivers state because until I tell you now you would not know that there is a Rivers state Gas Master Plan which his Excellency has done so well to ensure that it is working, I can list the number of companies in Rivers state that are using gas from the Rivers state Gas Master Plan . So we are calling investors to come into Rivers state because with the gas sector they can produce at a very lower cost and be able to deliver not just the product that will now add to the increase in the GDP of the state but also will create alot of jobs".



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