At a public hearing on the Gas Flaring Prohibition Bill, 2017 organised by the Senate Committee on Gas in Abuja on Wednesday.
The National House of Assembly via the Senate has disclosed that Nigeria loss not less than $2.5 billion to the flaring of estimated two billion standard cubic feet of flared gas annually.
Speaking at the public hearing, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who was represented by the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Ibn Bala Na’Allah stated at the opening of the public hearing that gas flaring was an embarrassment to the country and that there was no reason why the country should continue to flare gas in this age and time, considering its short and long-term consequences.
“The issue of gas flaring in Nigeria is a matter of great national embarrassment. We have no reason to continue to flare this precious resource God has endowed us with. This bill, therefore, seeks to make provisions for the prohibition of the flaring and venting of natural gas in any oil and gas production operation in Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith.
“Gas flaring is as old as the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria. While it remains a global environmental malaise with attendant environmental consequences, we must move with the rest of the world to seriously put an end to it. Gas flaring is not inevitable.
“Whilst statistics may not be accurate, the quantity of gas flared in Nigeria exceeds over 40 per cent of the gas flared annually across Africa, which amounts to about $7bn in waste. Apart from economic waste being a consequence of gas flaring, flared gas is also known to contain toxic substances, which cause respiratory diseases and air pollution, leading to the depletion of the ozone layer, ultimately having an adverse effect on weather and climate. Only God knows how many of our citizens have lost their lives as a result of gas flaring.”
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Bassey Akpan, in his remarks, stated that from statistics that federal government was leading in gas flaring among the member nations of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
That Nigeria’s estimated 188 billion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserve made it the country with the ninth largest concentration of the natural resource in the world.
It was disclosed that, “This has reportedly costs Nigeria over $25bn annually as well as contributing to air pollution, heat, rainforest damage and climate change. In the more than 1,000 oil fields located across the country, the towering flames resulting from gas burning now seem to the local villagers as an inevitable consequence of oil production.”