Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has revealed that, with the present state of energy poverty in the country, Nigerians have no need for Electric Vehicles (EVs) which, according to him, is less important to the basic power challenges the country should be addressing.
The NNPC GMD made this known at the just concluded Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum (Day 1) in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
This position is contrary to the gains made by the Federal Government through the incorporation of electric vehicles (EVs) into the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP).
According to Kyari who joined the session virtually, “We have much more basic problems in Sub-Saharan Africa than worrying about EVs. We are not in the EVs age and definitely the electricity supply is still the weakest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to still give more attention to the oil and gas sector as renewables cannot sufficiently address its current power challenges.
Kyari explained that the development of Nigeria’s gas infrastructure to address energy poverty in the nation should be considered over trying to achieve Net-Zero goals, leaving its citizens with little or no access to energy.
He also pointed out that the current level of investments within the country’s renewable energy sector is not enough to help meet its growing energy needs and, therefore, should not be its focus at the moment.
He said, “Total lack of investment in this sector will mean some kind of exclusion for a very large population in Africa and very many other nations.
”Therefore, this bandwagon approach to stop funding for fossil fuels won’t work.
“This is because, today, we have much more basic problems in Sub-Saharan Africa than worrying about EVs. We are not in the EVs age and definitely the electricity supply is still the weakest.
“Less than 30 per cent has access to clean electricity and you need to fill this gap. And there’s no way the scale of investment in renewables will do this. So, the world must sit back and take a second look at this.”
The NNPC Boss further stated that nations should be allowed to decide how and when they can best attain Net-Zero without pressure from foreign interests.
“Can we differentiate this? Can cleaner energy come later for some countries? Can we fund fossil fuels so that resources can be available to some countries to fund the transition journey itself?
“Also, can we segregate and say we want to fund gas in certain countries and certain locations so they can provide cleaner, quicker and more practical fuels? Clearly, there has to be differentiation,” Kyari noted.