House of Representatives Commences Probe into $2.5bn Annual Loss to Gas Flaring

-Jesse Voyamba

On Monday, Speaker Tajudeen Abbas of the House of Representatives established an Ad hoc Committee tasked with conducting a comprehensive investigation into the alarming revenue loss of $9.05 billion attributed to gas flaring in Nigeria over the past decade.

During the committee’s inauguration, Speaker Abbas emphasized the critical nature of their task, urging them to delve into the root causes of gas flaring and propose effective recommendations to end this detrimental practice.

He highlighted the urgent need to understand and mitigate the environmental, social, and economic impacts of gas flaring, noting that the annual loss due to this practice amounts to approximately $2.5 billion. Gas flaring has been a significant concern for Nigeria, impacting the environment, economy, health, and society for many years.

Gas flaring is not only a major contributor to climate change and environmental degradation but also represents a wasteful practice that squanders valuable resources. The flared gas, if harnessed effectively, could be utilized for electricity generation, heating, and various industrial processes.

Chairman Rep. Babba Munir, a staunch advocate for the interests of all Nigerians, expressed concern over the persistence of gas flaring despite commitments from oil companies to halt the practice. He emphasized the importance of the committee’s role in identifying loopholes and formulating laws to ensure optimal results in revenue generation for infrastructure, security, education, and health.

The committee has summoned various entities, including Total/Mobil V Domestic wing, Total/Oando JV, Total Energies, African Petroleum (AP) Pic. now Ardova PLC, Azman Oil and Gas Limited, Matrix Oil And Gas Shata Ltd, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), among others, to appear before them for discussions.

According to the Nigerian Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Nigeria has lost a staggering N891 billion to gas flaring in the past 18 months. This data highlights the urgency of addressing the issue and implementing effective measures to curb this significant economic loss and environmental impact.

As the committee delves into the intricacies of gas flaring and its implications, it remains committed to providing a fair hearing and ensuring the active participation of all relevant stakeholders to achieve tangible results in ending gas flaring and maximizing Nigeria’s resources for sustainable development and progress.