Albert Obanor, a professor at the University of Benin, said to an audience of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, on June 27, that Nigeria needed to revive its coal industry to prevent power shortages.
Obanor specifically singled out President Muhammadu Buhari and recommended using coal as an alternative to natural gas, which is not a reliable source of energy.
The country’s infrastructure for natural gas is poor, despite holding the largest natural gas reserves out of all African countries.
Nigeria, aside from crude oil, is one of the top exporters and producers of natural gas. It heavily depends on natural gas for revenue. Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited, comprised of government officials and leaders of foreign firms, estimated at least $85 billion was made in the past 15 years because of natural gas exports.
Russian officials recently expressed interest in the country’s oil and natural gas.
Valeriy Shaposhmikov, a Russian diplomat, told journalists last month companies like Gazprom would invest in Nigeria’s energy reserves to provide thousands of jobs:
An important area could be oil and gas sector – a major Russian oil and gas company Gazprom could be involved in developing pipelines infrastructure and protection system, an oil company Lukoil is coming to work here. There is interest in the development of the solid mineral resources.
Obanor defended suggestions to privatize the energy sector and even called for a security force to defend pipelines from vandalism. The latter may refer to Boko Haram, the terrorist group in the country. (more…)