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Nigeria will invest in renewable at own pace – GMD NNPC

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Oredola Adeola

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC Ltd), Mele Kyari has revealed that Nigeria will only invest in renewable at its own pace and can’t be forced to abandon abundant energy resources, noting that the government is concerned about devoting more resources to developing its gas potential.

He made this known at the Association of Energy Correspondent of Nigeria(NAEC) 2021 strategic international annual conference, while speaking on the topic: Energy Transition and the future of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas.

Kyari who spoke to the participants virtually from Glasgow, United Kingdom, where he is joining President and other Nigerian delegates at the ongoing COP26, revealed that Nigeria, as a natural resource dependent economy, will rather invest more on energy source that it can boost of in a sustainable and sufficient manner.

He said, “There is no way we can switch over to a renewable resource that we don’t have in abundance. We are a gas nation and this is going to be our transition fuel to achieve global call for decarbonisation.
“Gas is the easiest transition fuel that can be produced in abundance in Nigeria. This is what we are seeking the advanced nations’ support to develop. The world’s richest nations should live up to your financial commitments to developing nations like Nigeria that are hardest hit by the carbon engagement.

“Nigeria is energy deficient. Less than 30 percent of Africa’s population has access to electricity, with large percent impacted by energy poverty. So it is best to use the resources that is in abundance to address the energy challenges facing the country, than to create energy crisis for the people.

“Definitively, the way we use crude oil will change in this part of the world, but we shall focus more on how to use our crude oil to develop gas and provide energy for Nigerians,” the NNPC GMD said.

He further disclosed that the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, has made provision for gas monetization. He said , more resources is needed to upscale the country’s proven gas reserve from around 202 trillion cubic feet to about 600 trillion cubic feet.

Mr. Ed Ubong, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Gas, who spoke on behalf Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Osagie Okunbor,  Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), said Nigeria government has given priorities to development of natural gas resource to bring power and prosperity to its people.

He said, “These priorities include the plans to develop the gas sector to drive the domestic economy and to drive export as the energy transition demands increased supply of fuels like natural gas.

“Natural gas emits between 45 percent and 55 percent fewer greenhouse gas emission and less than one-tenth of the air pollutants, than coal when used to generate electricity.

“Harnessing this vast gas resource, and on time too, I believe, is key to development of the country. Currently , 85 million Nigerians, including the vast businesses, do not have access to grid electricity.

“Unlocking the challenges in the gas-to-power value chain is therefore critical to improving access to energy for Nigerians.

“Gas remains the cheapest energy source for local manufacturers in Nigeria. Constant availability of gas plays a key role in stabilising and stimulating growth in the manufacturing sector.

The SPDC MD charged the government to accelerate gas sector development across seven thematic areas some of which include, unlocking the domestic gas-to-power value chain; accelerating infrastructure development plus virtual pipelines; driving gas based industrialization, deepening domestic LPG penetration, building a stable regulatory environment anchored on willing buyers and sellers pricing regime .

Others are growing export and regional gas market , building local capacity/content for contractors and professionals in the gas sector. Theses thematic areas according to him, are critical to realising the objectives of the Decades to Gas. He added that they are needed to be pulled together in the Nigeria Decade of Gas Master Plan (NDGMP).

Professor Wumi Iledare , Professor of Petroleum Economics and Policy Research, Director of Energy Information Division of Centre for Energy Studies, in his remark at the conference, disclosed that Nigeria is blessed with gas in abundance unlike other renewable sources.

He said, “The PIA is friendly to natural gas development. So Government need to give more incentives to exploration and production of this huge resources in the country.

“Government must be open to opinions that are not in tune with theirs, especially on policy matters.

“The academia also play very important role in developing the the human and technical capacities needed to drive the gas utilization and production in Nigeria.

He therefore suggested that certain percentage of oil and gas revenue must to devoted to higher institutions including the Polytechnic and University to develop the technical and human skills needed to drive natural gas in Nigeria.

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