Stakeholders list hurdles as clamour for energy transition heightens

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja |   12 February 2020   |   3:27 am  

The global move to transit from fossil fuel to sustainable energy sources would be greeted with challenges in Nigeria, considering the country’s total reliance on hydrocarbon to power economic activities and industrialisation, oil and gas stakeholders said yesterday, in Abuja.

Indeed, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, said the epileptic state of the country’s power supply could be a barrier for the deployment of renewable and green energy solutions.

Although Kyari sees Nigeria’s gas resources as a bailout for cleaner energy sources, he asked stakeholders, who gathered at the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), to look towards encouraging the use of renewable energy and other alternatives for power supply across the country.

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“For us here, as a country, what we need to do is to transit into getting power to our homes, to our industries; to take advantage of the enormous gas resources that we have in this country. There are over 200 trillion standard cubic feet of gas, which everybody knows; but we know that in the books, there is potential for an additional 600 trillion and growing. 

“This is an asset that we have and which we can rely on to build and develop this country; to take gas to the export market, and particularly, to develop our domestic market. Doing this means bringing prosperity for West Africa, as 70 per cent of West Africa resides in Nigeria,” he said.

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Unless efforts are channelled towards bridging the energy gap, Kyari noted that addressing dependence on fossil fuel could be elusive.
 
According to him, by June 2020, the Nigerian petroleum industry would have a clear fiscal landscape with which operators would be able to plan, however, adding that operators should be willing to embrace changing laws. 

Corroborating Kyari, Chief Executive Officer, Lekoil, Olalekan Akinyanmi, believes there is a need for Africa to use fossil fuel to develop its economy, as did the developed countries.

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Akinyanmi said: “Other developed parts of the world had grown using fossil fuels and now that it is Africa’s turn, the world is saying we should stop using fossil fuels. During these periods of their development, Africa paid for others, so
I believe the standards should be relaxed for Africa.”

Similarly, the President, Nigerian Gas Association, Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, said lingering uncertainty in the gas sector would continue to deter investors from the industry.

To promote investment inflow in the sector, she urged the Federal Government to fix the infrastructural challenge and canvassed improved commercial framework to spur investment across the gas value chain.

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