The Federal Government has indicated its plan to support local and foreign investors in methanol production in the country, particularly by creatingenabling policy framework to grow their enterprises.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr.Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this in Bonn, Germany on Wednesday, saying that efforts are being intensified by the Nigerian government to consolidate on the nation’s recent Ease of Doing business rating.
Speaking on the topic ‘Africa’s employment Perspective Towards 2040’ at GermanDevelopment Institute on Tuesday in Bonn, the minister who said Nigeria was the new destination for investments appealed to investors to invest massively inthe country as they would not regret doing do.
Hecited the new investment-friendly visa policy and significant improvement inthe ease of doing business as incentives to foreign investors.
He said: “Nigerian businessmen and women are showing keen interest in investing in this project (methanol production) therefore all prospective investors coming into the country will have willing partners to do business with”.
According to him, the Methanol Fuel Production Technology wasa strategy employed by the Nigerian government to diversify its economy based onnatural gas reserves, thus reducing the country’s reliance on crude oilreserves.
The minister said since the world had reduced its reliance on crude oil,methanol production remained important for Nigeria to remain relevant inexporting natural gas.
He explained that the new national policy on Methanol Fuel Production Technology, providedthe enabling policy framework for value-addition “to our natural gas resources, increase in midstream gas investment and expansion of chemical industries value-chain.
“It will help create new jobs for both the young and the old as well as createwealth for both individuals and the nation while still protecting the environment”, the minister assured.
He further said that methanol could be used as feedstock for several useful productsand could serve as alternatives to kerosene and firewood.
“Methanol can be blended with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) that is petrol fifteen percent(15%), methanol eighty-five percent (85%) can be used in all vehicles without requiring any significant modification, while the end result is a cleaner and cheaper fuel with higher performance”, he stressed.
He explained that Methanol can be used to replace diesel in the generation for electricity production.
Onu stressed the need for African countries to increase investment in research and development, science education technology and innovation in order to reapmaximum benefits from the new international economic order characterized by oil price volatility, globalization, climate change and new technologies.
Theminister pointed out that the way to go is for African countries to adopt aknowledge and innovation- driven economy through massive public and privateinvestments in research and development.