Drums of oil

Unless Nigeria domesticates development of gas resources, especially with a N250 billion-intervention fund released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, government’s National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) may remain elusive, stakeholders have said. While the price of Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has doubled and an autogas policy of the Federal government is struggling to thrive, the government recently launched the NGEP backed by the N250 billion fund to further deepen the domestic gas market. Currently, a kilogramme of cooking gas, which traded for about N300 earlier this year now sells for over N500 across the country on the backdrop of vulnerable economic indexes, especially the continuous weakness of the naira and the increasing price of natural and refined gas at the international market. In May, Naira was devalued from N379/$1 to N410.25/$1. As of yesterday, the Naira exchanged for N521/$1 at the parallel market, where most Nigerians purchase their foreign exchange. The global price of natural gas has also witnessed over 60 per cent increase, trading close to $4 per Million British Thermal Unit (MMBtu) yesterday.