The Federal Government is to engage 500,000 young graduates in the National Gas Expansion Programme, NGEP, as part of its efforts to make gas as alternative energy for industrial, transportation and domestic use.

At the launching of the programme in Ado Ekiti, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said the initiative was in practical demonstration of the government to use the gas value chain as a catalyst for socio and economic development of the country.

He also stressed that the NGEP which was developed to eliminate gas flaring, reduce demand for import fuel would be private sector driven to ensure its sustainability and affordability.

The minister told the gathering that 500,000 young Nigerians who are technicians and engineers are expected to be trained and empowered through the National Gas Expansion Programme nationwide.

Sylva said Nigeria was richly endowed with mineral resources, specifically, hydrocarbon, crude oil and natural gas with proven gas reserves of over two hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

This, he said, has presented the country with the opportunity to use gas as a catalyst for social economy renaissance.

Speaking further, Sylva said: “The programme has its main objective to reinforce and expand gas supply as well as stimulate demand in Nigeria through effective and efficient mobilization and utilization of all available assets, resources and infrastructure in the country.

The Chairman NGEP Committee, Muhammed Ibrahim in his presentation disclosed that auto gas as an alternative fuel will afford Nigerians cheaper, cleaner and eco-friendly options with less impact on vehicles and the environment.

In a remark, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi lauded the Federal Government initiative which was targeted at improving the lives of the people, stimulating the economy, and creating jobs for the teeming youths.

The governor announced that to complement the programme, 20 micro gas distribution centers would be established across the state to enable the people to have easy access to affordable and sustainable cooking gas.

Mnt/Babatunde Tiamiyu

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