By Prince Okafor
FORMER Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Jackson Gaius-Obaseki has commended the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the on-going reforms in the petroleum industry.
Speaking during a panel discussion on a morning talk show on the Nigerian Television Authority, ‘Good Morning Nigeria’, on Monday, the oil industry giant who was NNPC’s GMD between May 1999 and November 2003, said the government’s efforts had the promise to bring back trust and the much needed investors’ confidence in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects.
Nigeria has three LNG projects in the works that outlasted three administrations of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan. These projects are the Train Seven of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company in Bonny, the Brass LNG in Bayelsa State and Olokola LNG in Ondo State.
According to Gaius-Obaseki, to move the LNG projects to the next level, there was the need for the Federal Government to reassure the stakeholders on its commitment to the projects. He stated: “First there must be trust and the partners must trust you. You must have the commitment and you must make the firm decision that we want to do it. And once you have taken that decision, that is where the framework of how to do it comes in.”
He said the project had included the construction of an aerodrome and a sea port which would have made Bayelsa State the commercial gateway of the region.
The projects to be executed under Brass LNG, he noted, had the promise to take a lot of people off the street. “Dr. Baru is doing a good job at the NNPC and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources is doing a good job too. This is what is giving some of us the hope that the LNG projects will do FID in the months ahead,” Dr. Gauis-Obaseki enthused.