Abuja to revitalize energy sector

May 23, 2012 at 8:55 AM

ABUJA, Nigeria, May 23 (UPI) -- The Nigerian government has "aggressive" investment programs in place to provide a major boost to the oil and natural gas sector, a minister said.

Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke told delegates at an investment conference in Abuja that several new natural gas pipelines were built or under development in the country.

"While we have again perceived a shortage in domestic gas supply, recently we are steadily delivering in the most robust and aggressive manner in terms of infrastructure and the supply program for natural gas, a level that has actually never been seen in the country before," she was quoted by Voice of America as saying.

President Goodluck Jonathan, she added, has envisioned a "gas revolution" for Nigeria.

Jonathan managed to quiet nationwide protests by reinstating some of a gasoline subsidy he scrapped at the beginning of the year.

The energy minister is the target of criticism because of a government report that found funds were pilfered from public coffers through the energy industry, VOA adds.

"Despite everything else, we have in fact managed to do some work in terms of the ministry and its oil and gas exploration and production," countered Madueke.

The International Energy Agency had said it expected declines in the Nigerian energy sector.

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