Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has asked investors to tap into the abundant gas resources in the state, in order to boost the state’s economy and that of Nigeria.
The Governor made the call while commissioning an ultra-modern office complex and warehouse of one of the biggest distributor of Dangote Cement in Asaba, the state’s capital.
The event had in attendance, Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group of Companies, Mr Aliko Dangote.
Governor Okowa stated that Mr Dangote has done a lot in the area of boosting not only Nigeria’s economy, but the economy of West Africa, stressing that the greatest benefit of such investments is job creation.
While some State Governments depend on the Federal Government for allocations to handle capital projects, Dr. Okowa stressed the importance of gas in Nigeria’s petrochemical industry.
He expressed confidence that with the help of investors, the natural gas in Delta State is capable of turning the state’s economy into a more viable one.
Governor Okowa reiterated the readiness of his administration to encourage prospective investors, adding that Nigeria is blessed with natural resources to be a huge importer of finished products.
He emphasized that there will be a lot of derivable benefits, if investors tap into the gas industry of Delta State.
“We have a lot of gas in Delta State and gas is very important to the petrochemical industry.
“As a nation, we cannot continue to import finished products and we strongly believe that we will play host to the next multi-billion Naira project of the Dangote Group in Delta State.
“As a state, we want to see a lot of actions beyond the cement industry, because it will create a lot of job opportunities for our youths,” the Governor said.
Gas Is Better Than Oil
The prospect appears to be bright as Mr Dangote disclosed the possibility of the company to invest in the natural gas that abounds in Delta State.
“We are an industrial company and what we concentrate on is agriculture; we do rice, sugar, cement, limestone, but the strength of Delta State is gas and gas is better than oil.
“Once there is gas, we will be able to do a lot in the petrochemical industry. We are doing an oil-based one in Lagos which is the most expensive way of doing petrochemical.
“The cheapest way is gas, if we can get the gas here, we will definitely come and invest a lot of money in Delta and employ unemployed youths,” Dangote said.
Delta State contributes about 29.98% of the total oil production in the country, as natural gas is associated with crude oil.
According to the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group, estimated reserves amount to 800 million cubic meters of the total gas production of about 2000 million cubic meters a month.
Only 12 million cubic meters are used as fuel, while 11 million cubic meters are sold with the balance flared.
Reports also reveal that crude oil revenue, which accounts for a lump sum of the Federal Allocation, has recently depleted due to the activities of militants in the Niger Delta region and the persistent fall in global oil prices.