In what is seen as a bold move towards replacing petrol with gas, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has performed the groundbreaking for a two million dollars LNG and L-CNG facility in Shabu area of Lafia, the state capital.
Engineer Sule performed the groundbreaking breaking ceremony for Greenville LNG and L-CNG facility, on Wednesday.
In a speech during the event, the Governor expressed optimism that Greenville, owned by private investors, is bringing alternative and cheaper energy sources, especially at a time when the cost of petrol is soaring higher following the removal of fuel subsidy.
He particularly expressed hope that the gas project will lead to the convertion of petrol engines to gas, especially for heavy-duty trucks, as well as smaller vehicles such as commercial motorcycles.
The Governor mentioned how countries like Brazil are exploiting clean energy to drive their economies.
He used the opportunity of the event to speak on what his administration put on ground to evolve synergy between Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which is making it possible for private investors to come into the state to invest their money.
“We came in and met two situations on ground. The first situation is that a lot of land have been bought by investors who were looking for certificate of occupancy in order for them to be able to go and raise money from the banks in order to expand the businesses and employ our people but they didn’t get it.
“Secondly, we had a lot of people, indigenes of Nassarawa State that have bought so many lands and were waiting for certificates so that they can be able to access small loans here and there and to be able to carry on their businesses but they couldn’t get.
“That is the reason why in the past four years, I spent sleepless nights in checking the documents and signing the certificates so that our people will be able to go about their businesses.
“These are the two basic reasons driving me to sign these certificates. In fact, this particular certificate that I gave right now, I only signed it yesterday along with 300 other certificates,” he stated.
Engineer Sule spoke on how his administration went through a lot to sign an agreement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) for the effective utilization of the available gas resources in the state.
“We had a summit that attracted companies like Greenville to come in and see the opportunities that we have in Nasarawa State. We had the various agencies, we had what we call the Ease of Doing Business for these various MDAs to come together to understand that to attract investment you need to be able to provide the environment that is there,” he added.
On his part, the Managing Director of Greenville LNG, Ritu Sahajwalla, who was represented at the event by the Director of Administration of the company, Joseph Oyadoyin, pointed out that the project will further crystalize the industrialization drive of Governor Sule as it will bring more in investment to the state.
“Our project will bring numerous benefits to the host community, starting with the creation of employment opportunities. We understand the importance of job creation and economic empowerment, and we have tried to contribute to the further crystallization of investments in this area,” the MD said.
Sahajwalla said the recent derrugulation of the petroleum industry has emphasized the urgent need for alternative and cleaner energy sources, with the timing for his company’s LNG and L-CNG apt as it provides a solution to the high petrol prices that is burdening the common man, ensuring stability and affordability of gas.
“You can convert your small generator. You can use the LNG to power it. Then your vehicle that is using petrol based on the capacity, through conversion kit, you can use LNG to power the vehicle,” he added.
Sahajwalla disclosed that the company will establish another facility in Karu Local Government Area after the completion of the first project in Lafia.
Earlier, in a welcome address, Managing Director/CEO, Nasarawa Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the two million US dollars investment by Greenville LNG is the first of its kind in the North Central region of the country and has 23 metric tonnes capacity of LNG and 1,500 SCM of L-CNG.
Abdullahi added that the project will usher in the introduction of LNG and LCNG usage for heavy-duty trucks as well as smaller vehicles such as automobiles and Keke NAPEP in the region as fuel prices has skyrocketed since the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in May.
The NASIDA MD described the groundbreaking as a testimony of Engineer Sule’s vision to industrialize Nasarawa State.
“Nigeria is a gas producing country distracted by oil production. Today, with the groundbreaking of this facility, you are ushering in the development of a major facility that will help in promoting clean energy and add up to Nigeria’s quest for a just energy transition,” he said.
The ceremony witnessed the official handover of the certificate of occupancy for the project which was facilitated by the NASIDA, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nasarawa State Government and Greenville LNG in November last year