At the palace of the King of Bonny, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (Nigeria LNG) recently marked 30 years of operations where it flagged off what it called the ‘Next 30 Years’, highlighted by a N75 billion development fund to be released at the rate of N3 billion per year.
Why Nigeria LNG came to be
It is important to interrogate the reasons that led to the berthing of Nigeria LNG. Prior to its coming on, there was large-scale gas- flaring, which had continued for decades, and have been a major source of concern for environmentalists on account of its notable potentials for large- scale environmental pollution, climate-change and health implications in the host communities.
Hence, the need for a gas-using project – from which arose the benefits to the host communities of natural gas-utilising projects
and invariably the country at large. The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project is strategically designed to utilise the abundant gas resources of the nation, which were paradoxically being wasted through decades of flaring and its associated adverse consequences on the regional and international climates.
The existing cleared plant site and residential area on Bonny Island were allocated to Nigeria LNG. The subsequent on-site activities involved the relocation of Old Finima by the federal authorities and a purpose-built new town was provided. The relocation to New Finima town took place in 1991, after which the site was levelled and covered with hydraulic fill to raise the site to the correct levels for construction. The relocation of indigenous populations and confiscation of coastal areas, especially known to be breeding grounds for marine species, portends major ecological
danger and cultural trauma to man and loss of vital habitat used for centuries by animal species.
All over the world, gas extracting and processing facilities are springing up. The number of LNG projects has increased faster than crudeoil refineries, as crude oil reserves dwindle across the globe. The environmental, socio-economic and health implications are not presently adequately known as is the case of crude oil refineries worldwide.
A successful model to attract FDI In the face of dwindling income from crude oil and falling tax revenues, which are causing the federal government to miss its targets, Nigeria needs to explore creative models to fund huge infrastructure required to revamp a broken economy.
One of such proven models is Nigeria LNG. Since 1999, the Nigeria LNG has fully paid the $5.45 billion taken from its shareholders to build its six existing LNG trains. The