President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Abuja, said Nigeria would continue to explore options in addressing energy transition, insisting that there is no need to panic. Speaking at the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES), the president noted that the country is already building measures that would ensure seamless energy transition, as the country joins in the race for net zero carbon emission.
Represented at the event by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, Buhari stated that his administration declared natural gas as the transition fuel for Nigeria, adding that the country is prepared to face the challenge of the rising global demand for cleaner energy sources.
Speaking to global leaders in the energy sector at the event, he said: “I urge this summit to develop smart home-grown goals for the country’s energy transition. We are waiting to deliberate on the strategy paper from this summit and incorporate critical parts of it into government’s policies where necessary.”
Sylva, who decried the energy poverty on the continent, noted that, in adopting global future fuels, energy-poverty and climate change nexus have to be both addressed simultaneously. According to him, for countries such as Nigeria, that are rich in natural resources but still energy poor, the transition must not come at the expense of affordable and reliable energy for people, cities, and industry.
Sylva said: “On the contrary, it must be inclusive, equitable, and just—which means preserving the right to sustainable development and poverty eradication as enshrined in global treaties such as the Paris accord. It is evident that what makes the most sense from the point of view of “balancing energy security with environmental sustainability is the use of gas as a transition fuel.”
He said the country is driving to make natural gas a dominant primary energy source for use in the medium to long term, adding that liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is set to be part of the destination as it is being used as a precursor for green hydrogen with zero emission. Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, said the PIA has set clear legacies that would guarantee the sustainable development of the critical sector in ensuring energy security for Nigeria and socio-economic revitalisation using the nation’s rich hydrocarbon resource.
Ahmed stated that while geopolitical risks and the energy transition continue to destabilise oil prices, there was a need for the country to scale up sustainable investment in the fossil fuel sector, considering the role oil and gas would continue to play in the global energy mix.