Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has reiterated the need for Nigeria to focus on its gas resource to bridge the energy gap which, according to him, will lead to a just and equitable energy transition programme. This was contained in a statement released by Horatius Egua, Senior Adviser, Media and Communications to the Minister, being his speech at the ongoing 2022 CERAWeek ( Cambridge Energy Research Associates Week) in Houston, Texas.
EnergyDay in a recent publication had reported that the Minister made a friendly call on the Turkish Government to take advantage of the planned exit by some International Oil Companies (IOCs) from the Nigerian offshore and natural gas environment.
Sylva noted that while the renewable energy is relevant to increase energy access in Nigeria and the entire African region, it cannot alone help to meet the continent’s growing energy needs, hence the need to focus on how to harness the large reserves Nigeria has.
He explained further that the energy demand in the country and region is enormous and would require a multifaceted approach to addressing it while maintaining that Africa must be given the room to utilize gas as its transition fuel against the global call for decarbonization.
“We believe that gas is the way forward and the one access to power. For the energy transition programme to be taken seriously we need to have an inclusive energy transition programme.
“There are about 600 million people in Africa without access to power and of that number, the majority live in Nigeria. And of the over 900 million people without access to power in the world, the majority live in Africa.
“So how do we provide access to power for these people if you say we should not produce gas? We believe that gas is the way to go.
“We are saying that our energy transition should be focused on gas to bridge the energy gap. This is what we have been saying. We need a just and equitable energy transition programme,” he said.
He also stated that Nigeria failed to meet the production quota set for it by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) due to low investments in the country’s oil and gas sector.
Sylva lamented that Nigeria has failed to attract the required investments needed to boost its economy while appealing to foreign bodies and nations promoting renewables to allow poorer nations the chance of attaining energy sufficiency before abandoning fossil fuels.
“The rate at which investments were taken away was too fast. Lack of investment in the oil and gas sector contributed to Nigeria’s inability to meet OPEC quota.
“We are not able to get the needed investments to develop the sector and that affected us.
“We are saying that our energy transition should be focused on gas to bridge the energy gap. This is what we have been saying. We need a just and equitable energy transition programme.
“As Africans we are saying that we must be allowed to transit through gas. We cannot achieve one energy base load through renewable alone. The rest of the world must listen to us. We are happy that our point of view is being taken,” the Minister noted.