President Buhari has inaugurated the construction of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas train 7 project and charged the company to ensure its timely completion.
Buhari who did the groundbreaking virtually from Abuja said the early completion of the project located in Bonny Island, Rivers State would pave the way for the commencement of Train 8.
He urged the Board of Directors, management and staff of NLNG, the Rivers State Government, host communities and other agencies of the Federal Government to close ranks so as to ensure completion and eventual commissioning of the Train 7 project.
He said, "As we flag off the Train 7 project today, I look forward to the development and execution of more gas projects by the International Oil Companies and indigenous operators, and more trains from Nigeria LNG to harness the over 600 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves we are endowed with.
"Let me use this opportunity to commend the shareholders of NLNG, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and other stakeholders for very exemplary collaboration which has culminated in this great opportunity for Train 7.
"I want to thank the foreign investors for the confidence reposed in Nigeria, and assure all Nigerians and potential investors in the oil and gas sector that the Federal Government will continue to create the enabling environment in order to develop the sector and bring the full benefits of gas closer to our people."
"As Minister of Petroleum Resources, I kicked off our first foray in LNG Business in 1978. At that time, it was already apparent that Nigeria was mainly a gas-rich country with a little oil."
He added, "NLNG has generated $114bn in revenues over the years, paid $9bn in taxes; $18bn in dividends to the Federal Government and $15bn in feed gas purchase".
"These are commendable accomplishments by the company's 100 percent Nigerian Management Team."
In his address, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, described NLNG as a blessing to the nation.
He said it had positively complemented crude oil exploration by monetising flared gas and yielding huge revenue to the nation and investors.
Sylva added that since the NLNG became operational in 1999, the nation had recorded a drastic reduction in operational flare status from 65 percent to 12 percent.
In his welcome address, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Tony Attah, said the Train 7 would increase NLNG's overall capacity to 30 million tonnes per annum from the current 22 million mtpa, while further adding immense value to the nation and the people.
Attah noted that the project would stimulate inflow of about $10bn FDI into Nigeria, create 12,000 direct jobs in Bonny Island and additional 40,000 indirect construction jobs.
In his speech, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike represented by his deputy, Dr Ipalibo Banigo-Harry, commended the NLNG for relocating its corporate headquarters to Port Harcourt and urged other multinational companies to follow suit.