Diversification: FG begins bio-fuel project next year

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It was gathered that the Federal Government will next year begin a programme, which among other objectives, is aimed at developing bio-fuel as an alternative to crude oil.

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The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, said that the Jatropha Value Chain Project, would not only provide an alternative to fossil fuel but also create jobs.

Mohammed stated this just as the Minister of State for Environment, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril, during a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, said Jatropha had been identified by the Nigerian Bio-fuel Policy and Incentives in 2007 as the most preferred non-food plant for bio-fuel feedstock for production in the country.

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On her part, Mohammed allayed fears that the project would not be sustainable, saying government would involve communities, youths and traditional rulers.

“Funding will come if we can show the revenue stream. Talking about the Green Bond, government will have to put fund for it. We intend to do it in the 2017 budget,” she added.

According to her, the Federal Government would create value chain for the plant over the next five years because the programme was part of efforts to diversify the economy.

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Explaining the ministry’s programme on the plant, Jibril said the Jatropha programme would reduce dependence on fossil fuel and ensure clean environment.

He stated, “This policy as well as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s Renewable Energy Division was set out to link the agriculture and energy sectors and promote job creation, technology acquisition and also attract foreign investment in the bio-fuels industry.

“The Jatropha value chain project is being proposed as a means not only for the successful production of a viable green alternative to fossil fuels, but also for providing an additional means of livelihood for local communities that are losing ground water and vegetation every year due to desertification.”

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