Ajimobi calls for viable national energy strategy to mitigate oil price crash
AS part of measures to tackle the challenges Nigeria and other oil dependent countries are facing as a result of plunging oil prices, Oyo State Governor, Ishaq Ajimobi, has stressed the need for collaborative effort to develop a viable strategy for survival of Nigerian nation.
Speaking yesterday at the 8th yearly international conference of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) in Ibadan, Ajimobi said that energy issues require greater attention as revenue of several developing countries of the world particularly Nigeria depend on income from crude oil.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Moses Adeyemo stated that, “the global energy challenges should not be the responsibility of the governments alone”, adding that the sector needs involvement of individuals and other players in the energy industry.
Ajimobi who lauded the association for its initiative said that the conference which was titled “Future Energy Policy Options: Assessment, Formulation And Implement” came at the right time when the country is battling with serious economy treat from the fall in oil price.
He further stated that the purpose of the conference would be achieved as a result of the series of papers presentations and research work which experts were set to present at the conference.
Ajimobi stressed that the conference would help to set agenda and draw the attention of governments and stakeholders across the world to tackle global energy challenges, urging that developing countries must prioritise energy productivity so as to ensure a more sustainable energy system.
“With the current global oil and energy challenges, Nigeria needs to ensure a move from over dependency on oil through diversification of the economy to ensure sustainable development, the governor added.
He called on experts across the globe particularly in Nigeria to create platforms where professionals could come together to develop viable energy strategy.
“There is no way Nigeria and the rest of the world can overcome energy challenges without strategy dialogues. This conference will therefore be a great value to energy demands”, he stated.
The President, NAEE, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju, told participants at the conference that the global energy dynamics are changing.
He said the decline in crude price by over 100 per cent in less than a year should be a source of concern to Nigerians.
“New discovery in other countries is a major challenge to oil exporting countries like Nigeria. The issues we plan to discuss should include what these oil exporting countries should do to survive,” he said.
He however urged the Federal Government to consider subsidizing production rather than subsidizing consumption of refined petroleum products.
He said: “There are so many leakages in the subsidy regime. We need to bring our refineries back so that they can start working because the impact of subsidy on our foreign exchange and reserves are enormous. We need to also look at alternatives to subsidy especially at a time like this when our revenues are falling due to crude price decline.”