July 23, 2024

Kick-starting Nigeria’s energy technology revolution through open access window



Today, Nigeria is faced with the reality of a global energy transition that has classified crude oil production as environmentally unfriendly and therefore, economically counterproductive. Funds are no longer forthcoming as quickly as before, and this trend will narrow further as the world moves into renewables.

The production of natural gas and perhaps condensate will continue to thrive as transition fuel up to the time that the global community can afford to discard them too.

The process toward cleaner energy sources is ongoing more speedily than the country is probably willing to admit to itself, but at least it should accept the reality that it will have to fund its own crude oil production because of the huge volume that is still available to be exploited. About 3 billion barrels of crude oil and possibly 600 trillion cubic feet of gas are located in Nigeria for monetization.

At today’s market price, Nigeria could earn as much as usd300 billion from the sale or processing of its crude oil reserves. Natural gas will, of course, yield much more revenue than crude oil, based on present-day realities.

This volume of gas is sufficient enough to provide electricity to the entire African continent over the next ten years or more and dramatically change the economic fortunes of the continent. This is the economic value that Nigeria could lose if urgent actions are not taken now !

How will Nigeria manage this enormous resource after having relied on Western technologies all through the years of crude oil discovery, blending, refining, and marketing?

How will the country mobilize the funds and quicken the pace of developing these natural resources at a price it can afford?

There are completely inadequate or non-existent research facilities across all the universities in the country, and this much was revealed at the just concluded 34th Annual Conference of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. This is a good sign of disaster and a pointer to a bleak future.

The IOCs are determined to pay less attention to African oil producers’ concerns as they reduce the production of machines and technologies required by African countries, particularly Nigeria, to optimize hydrocarbon reserves.

Foreign funding, technology, expertise, and markets are also not based in Nigeria, and they are all waiting to leave the country.

EnergyDay, having given very deep thought to this challenge, is of the view that Nigeria should launch without delay a Technology Revolution, based on open access to information, interaction, scientific concepts, and technology propositions by different clusters or groupings in the country.

This is not a platform for academic exercise to siphon public funds or create complex arguments, but rather, an appeal to the collective conscience of concerned Nigerians to roll out clean programs involving the formal and informal sectors of society.

EnergyDay wishes to inform and encourage all Nigerians that they have the intellectual capacity, the staying power, the zeal and determination to excel, and above all, the ingenuity to accomplish their desired success.

EnergyDay, being well aware that the past is always the key to the future, is quick to point out a few examples of indigenous achievements that could inspire today’s generation in the quest to solve the country’s peculiar challenges.

Distances and angles were calculated, algebraic equations were solved, and mathematically based predictions were made of the size of floods on the river Nile. 35,000 years ago, Egyptians scripted textbooks about mathematics that included division and multiplication of fractions and geometric formulas to calculate the area and volume of shapes.

“8,000 years ago, the people in present-day Zaire developed their own numerical system, as did the Yoruba people in Nigeria. The Yoruba system was based on units of 20 instead of 10 and required an impressive amount of subtraction to identify different numbers. This foundation is still valid and in use in modern science.

“The Dogon people of Mali amassed a wealth of detailed astronomical observations, and those discoveries were so advanced that some modern scholars credit their discoveries to space aliens or unknown European travelers, even though the Dogon culture is steeped in ceremonial tradition centered on astral travel.” In fact, the Dogon people knew of Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s moons, the spiral structure of the Milky Way galaxy, and the orbit of the Sirius star system.

They knew that this system contained a primary star and a secondary star, now called Sirius B, which is of immense density and not visible to the naked eye”
It is a fallacy, therefore, to believe that the Nigerian person is incapable of rational thinking that can generate scientific ideas and technological concepts, in response to the peculiar challenges confronting the nation today!

Granted, the failure of the leadership class to galvanize a popular movement aimed at transforming every facet of Nigeria’s national life is a drag, but then, it provides the groundswell for citizens to ask themselves pertinent questions to safeguard survival.

Fuel prices are set to rise further, as are food prices, but in the meantime, access to money is restricted within the circles of those who have become too corrupt to be controlled by the provisions of the law.

The universities are closed and may remain closed until such a time that the collective physic of the Nigerian person is awakened to understand that the destinies of those children shut out of school shouldn’t remain closed for a moment longer.

A re-direction of national focus based on clarity of vision is now most urgently needed for Nigeria to scale through the combination of self-inflicted agony and the external consequences of negative global events.

Nigeria needs technology that can produce onshore crude oil at a cost that is less than USD 9 per barrel and offshore facilities that can replace the more advanced structures of the IOCs.

The Dangote Refinery and all other refineries may not sustainably rely over time on foreign expertise and technologies to remain profitable and useful to the country.

Indigenous ingenuity will have to spring up if the Nigerian nation is to be saved from sinking.

EnergyDay is of the view that the formation of ” Inventors Clubs” should be encouraged as non-governmental initiatives across the country as a strong basis to promote non-formal, non-straight-jacket learning experiences. Domestic indigenous refining of crude oil falls into this category.

Wealthy Nigerians are encouraged to set up foundations and scientific research resources in universities or within the manufacturing sectors of the economy.