There are indications that foreign investors are sidelining Nigeria’s gas sector as other African countries attracted higher investments in the past 10 years.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, told a section of EU Ambassadors to Nigeria, that out of over $70 billion worth of investments that entered Africa between 2012 and 2022, only $3.5 billion or five percent came into Nigeria, despite accounting for 33 percent gas reserve in the continent.
A breakdown of the investments showed that, Tanzania received major chunk in gas investment of $30 billion, with the country’s LNG project located at Lindi, while Rovuma basin, offshore Mozambique gas development project received, $4.7 billion.
Ethiopia-Djibouti Gas Pipeline, located at Ogaden Basin, East Ethiopia – Damerjog, Djibouti, which started in 2020, received $4 billion.
Sylva stated: “One of the biggest challenges the sector has is lack of investments. In the last 10 years, over $70 billion worth of investments came to Africa, but sadly less than four billion dollars came to Nigeria.
“Surprisingly, we are the biggest in Africa. If we cannot attract investments to Nigeria, you know where we are heading. You have been our long time friend. As of today, our gas reserve is one of the biggest in the world. We have a proven gas reserve of 206 tcf and if we really focus on gas exploitation we can get up to 600 tcf.’’
However, the festering war between Ukraine and Russia which has threatened gas supply to European countries, may have necessitated a call by Sylva to the foreign investors to look to Nigeria with more investments, insisting that Nigeria was ready to step in as an alternative gas supplier to Europe.