Answering questions from journalists at the side line of the one-day capacity building workshop for journalists in Lagos with the theme: Enhancing Media Competencies to Support Nigerian Content in a Gas Economy, organized by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Dr. Ginah O. Ginah, General Manager, Corporate Communications & Zonal Coordination of NCDMB, said the use of barite in the oil industry is yielding positive results.
On the issue of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), he noted that vast majority of Nigerians especially at the rural areas are not fully using it which is detriment to their health in terms of cleaner energy.
You spoke about LPG, what is the state of Nigeria in terms of its usage?
We have issues with LPG usage in Nigeria, the country is far behind other African countries and this is causing a lot of health problems. Far in the north they use vegetation for cooking and it is dangerous to the health of women that do the cooking including unborn children.
It is based on that that we have come here today to build capacity of our media practitioners who are our partners to deepen their capacity so that they’ll be able to do their work in such a way that will make the stakeholders and policymakers who approve initiatives and budgets to see reason why funding to gas is very important and also to let them see all the good job that NCDMB has done on its own in order to get approval to do more for the country.
Government has been supportive and all our approvals are usually given positive considerations.
We’re now looking at turning from oil to a gas based economy and in that change in direction, we don’t want to lose momentum. This is the main reason for the media workshop. In 2023, we’re going to reel out the results.
First we’re going to assess our present status. The media as neutral observers will tell the Board what they have observed and the increment we have achieved over the period of one year.
What can you tell us about barite since much funds have been injected into it?
As we speak Nigeria barite has been fully utilized in the industry. We have been blessed with a good leadership in NCDMB from the inception and the present helmsman, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote is doing a wonderful job. Today, as I speak with you, we have an instruction with industry that until they exhaust all the barites being produced in the middle belt, they will not be allowed to import it.
I will tell you truthfully that they have also assisted in mechanizing barite production in those places. People use manual mix to produce it. But I can tell you positively that in the industry, International Oil Companies (IOCs) have assisted in making modern equipment available thereby further increasing the production of barites. We are doing well in terms of barite production.
How many companies are currently using it?
Many companies both local and IOCs are using it and NCDMB has a robust monitoring directorate which is the biggest in the Board. So, all the oil companies are making use of barite and they are from the Middle Belt part of the country.
It is only when they have exhausted it that they can request by writing for permission to import.