Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has advised the management and board of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), to work towards reducing the current 20 per cent of gas being flared in the country, stating that it was by so doing that activities of the gas company would be appreciated by Nigerians.
He also pledged the determination of the Senate and, indeed, the National Assembly to foster business-friendly laws in the country.
Saraki gave the advise on Monday when he granted audience to the outgoing Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa, who came to introduce the in-coming Managing Director, Tony Attah to him.
According to the Senate President, after listening to the opening remarks by the out-going NLNG Managing Director that the NLNG has succeeded in reducing gas flaring in Nigeria from 60 per cent to 20 per cent, said, “there is a need to do more. You have to work harder so that you can further reduce the current status of gas flaring in Nigeria.”
Saraki told the management of the NLNG that the National Assembly would not relent in its efforts to ensure the enthronement of business- friendly incentives for economic development of the country.
He explained that it was in this regard that the Senate facilitated the review of the railways laws, inherited from the colonial masters over 50 years ago.
The Senate President explained that the review of the railway law is central to the success of economic reforms in the country.
The Senate President who called for the private sector participation in railway development in Nigeria, said that, “no government can fully fund railways development as it is central to economic reforms.”
Saraki also advised the management of the NLNG to ensure that the roads leading from Port Harcourt to Bonny were constructed as they would lead to harmonious corporate community relationship with the host community in Bonny.
The Senate President advised the management of the NLNG to ensure that there was an improvement on the use of domestic gas for cooking as it would drastically reduce the use of firewood for cooking in the country and consequently help to preserve the environment.
Omotowa said that he and the management team were at the National Assembly to introduce Mr. Tony Attah who is billed to assume duties as the new managing director of the company on September 1.
He also thanked the Senate President for providing a fruitful and conducive atmosphere for the NLNG during his tenure as the chief executive of the gas company, while urging him to extend the same relationship to his successor, Attah.
Meanwhile, Saraki has called for improved bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially in areas of common interest like education and elimination of terrorism.
He stated this when the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, led a delegation of Iranian officials on a visit to him at his National Assembly.
According to the Senate President, “there should be bilateral co-operation between Nigeria and the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially in areas where there were common challenges like in tackling terrorism, science and education, as well as in socio-cultural co-operation.”
He said that the visit of the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs marked a new era in the bilateral relationship between both countries, as it would step up co-operation and collaboration in areas with similar interests between Nigeria and Iran.
In urging for co-operation, Saraki said that Nigeria and Iran had similar interests as regard the diversification of the economy, stating, “we are both oil-producing countries and the falling price of crude oil has made it imperative for the diversification of the economy.”
Zarif told Saraki that Iran is ready to work and collaborate with Nigeria in education, science and technical fields, stating that there were many Nigerian students undergoing studies in several fields of endeavour in Iran.
The Minister further stated that Iran had scholarship programmes for Nigerian students schooling in Nigeria.
He also said that Iran was ready to collaborate with Nigeria in parliamentary affairs, as both countries were members of several international parliamentary associations.