By G9ija

The Federal Government has said it will engage about 500,000 Nigerian youths under its National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, stated this yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, while kick-starting the programme.

Sylva said the programme was primarily designed as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by using the gas value chain as catalyst for social and economic development.

The minister said Nigeria is richly endowed with mineral resources, specifically hydro carbon, crude oil and natural gas, with proven gas reserves of over 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

This, he said, has presented the country with opportunity to use gas as a catalyst for social economy renaissance.

Sylva spoke as Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi lauded President Buhari’s dedication to implementing programmes directed at improving the lives of the people through job creation, social security schemes, stimulating the economy, and attending to security challenges in the nation.

Fayemi, who inspected some of the gas-powered automobiles displayed outside the venue, assured that his administration would continue to key into life-lifting programmes of the Buhari administration to improve the standard of living of Ekiti residents.

He said his administration recognised the various benefits embedded in the NGEP initiative, ranging from reduction of importation of fuel to creation of jobs for youths and improvement of access to gas for transportation and domestics use at affordable price in the State.