The Federal Government has called on States in the South-East of the country to key into the successful implementation of the National Policy on Methanol Fuel Production Technology, adding that the policy aims to provide an alternative source of fuel for the country.
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah who made the call during the South-East Stakeholders’ Sensitization on the Implementation of the National Policy on Methanol Fuel Production Technology in Umuahia, Abia State recently. He disclosed that the initiative would reduce incidences of gas flaring, especially in the Niger Delta Region, and also enhance activities in the transportation, agriculture, energy, solid minerals, and manufacturing sectors, as well as create green economic development for the nation.
Media Assistant to the Minister of State, Tine-Iulun quoted the minister as saying that “the initiative would not only develop local capacities, generate employment and conserve foreign exchange, but would also help to achieving significant success in efforts to reduce global warming.”
Describing the policy as the future for technological development for Nigeria, he noted that the programme would also boost the country’s chemical industry as it would use the abundant natural resources of gas, coal, and biomass to create alternative source of fuel for Nigerians.
The Minister of State pledged the support of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in the coordination of the integration and domestication of methanol fuel infrastructure facilities as enshrined in the Methanol Policy Document.
He applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to ensuring that Nigerians enjoy the dividends of democracy and congratulated the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, for his dedication in overseeing the project, stating that its successful implementation would reduce importation of fuel while ending subsidy regime.
In his keynote address, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, stated that the Methanol Project would improve the standard of living of Nigerians, as it would create jobs and wealth for both individuals and the nation and also protect the environment.
He revealed that Nigeria has the 9th largest natural gas reserve in the world, adding, “it is time we added value to our natural resources by utilizing science and technology and innovation to move the country gradually from over reliance on crude oil to emphasizing cleaner and renewable source of energy”.
Dr. Onu said the project offers better opportunity as the product is cheaper than Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol), while its use in the transportation sector would not only reduce the cost of fuel, but would also improve performance in vehicles.
The Minister stated that the sensitization programme was to afford Nigerians a better understanding of the enormous benefits of methanol. He therefore urged entrepreneurs and investors in the private sector to invest in methanol so that the country would no longer depend on importing almost everything.
In his address, the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, pledged the State’s commitment to the successful implementation of the National Policy on Methanol Fuel Production Technology in Abia and other South-Eastern states in order to optimize its immense environmental and socio-economic benefits.
Dr Ikpeazu charged the stakeholders to brace up to the new challenge of economic diversification, and assured the Federal Government of its readiness to continue to partner with it for the good of the people of Abia.
Presenting the Technical Brief, Dr. Peter Ekweozoh, disclosed that the National Policy on Methanol Fuel Production Technology was approved by the Federal Executive Council on the 23rd of October, 2019 to find a lasting solution to the over dependence on petrol. He added that the full implementation of the Policy would benefit all Nigerians, and tasked the people of the South East to ensure they take the lead in implementing the Policy.