The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has expressed the need for increased investment in the Gas sector as it plays a key role in enabling diversification and growth of Nigerian economy.
Mr Sunny Ejeje, Chairman, NSE Apapa Branch, said in Lagos that there were lots of benefits that Nigeria would get from diversification to gas, especially in terms of cost of production in the manufacturing sector.
According to him, it will also improve the business environment, power supply and ultimately improve pricing.
Ejeje said that the society’s interest on the need for the country to diversify to a gas-driven economy necessitated the topic for the NSE’s 2020 Public Lecture and Induction of new members.
He said the theme was: “High Cost of Energy in Industrial Sector – Exploring the Gas Solution’’.
Also, Mr Festus Omotoyinbo, Head of Technical, Flour Mills of Nigeria, noted that more investors were needed in the gas sector.
“We need more investors in gas to ensure that it is readily available for the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
“We are having issues with pipeline gas as well, even though it’s there but sometime, the pressure goes down and it affects the factory.
“Also, when you are running big turbines that are required to run at a higher pressure, when the pressure drops, then you have problem, you have to seek alternative.
“So we are having a challenge with the fact that the gas is there but not fully explored to meet the demand of the manufacturer.
“Hence, for any business to grow in Nigeria, there is a potential need for the government to look inward and see what they can do in tapping deep dive into the issue of gas and ensure it is explored to the benefit of the manufacturing sector.’’
Omotoyinbo explained that power in Nigeria as it affected the manufacturing sector was different from individual and private lives.
He said that for individual private lives, one could afford to do whatever he wanted with generators but it is a different ball game when it concerned the business environment.
“This is because you have the overheads, you have to make a returns to the shareholders, you have salaries to pay and you have finance to settle with banks.
“In other words, you must have a reliable and sustainable power to be able to run your business and grow and make profits.
“In Nigeria today, we are suffering because of the poor supply from the grid and so, it affects us in the manufacturing sector,’’ he said.
“We are looking at what options do we have. That means we have to proactively and practically look at what we could do as engineers to provide a solution for the manufacturing sector to be able to run effectively and make profits in every areas of their operation.
“The Nigerian environment is very competitive. Therefore, for you to be able to beat your competitors, you must do something different in terms of operating efficiently your plans,’’ Omotoyinbo said.
According to him, efficient operations means you look at every area of your process and see how you can reduce your costs.