April 16, 2024

Nigerian Government develops“Just Transition Policies” to integrate oil workers into net-zero economy  

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Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Government has developed a mechanism to integrate oil and gas workers and professionals from a fossil-based economy to a net zero-carbon system by the second half of this century.

Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive (CCE) of, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) made this known while speaking on “Energy Transition and its Effect on Workforce in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector”,  at the maiden edition of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Energy and Labour Summit 2022, on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the mechanism known as the “Just Transition Policies”  offers professionals in the petroleum industry the ability to leverage their expertise to transit to other clean energy sources.

He noted that the “Just Transition Policies” when implemented would guarantee a safe and decent work environment for oil and gas workers.

Komolafe while speaking on the topic  “Energy Transition: Positioning the Nigeria Energy Industry for the Future (Upstream Perspective)“, said just transition is a critical enabler that could assist the Nigerian workforce to cope with the energy transition phase.

“Ultimately, as the energy transition draws closer, the government will develop robust just transition policies to provide guidelines on how oil and gas professionals can leverage on their core technical expertise to pivot to other clean energy sources.

“The “just transition” philosophy ensures environmental sustainability as well as decent work, social inclusion, and poverty eradication.“Given that Nigeria has a high poverty rate, the importance of just transition principles cannot be overemphasised.

“The Host Communities Development Trust (HCDT) and the Local Content Act have the potential to guarantee longevity of the industry during these changing times.

“To stay competitive and relevant the Nigerian worker will have to upskill in this regard,” he advised.

The NUPRC’s boss further noted that Nigeria and other African economies are concerned about up-scaling industrialisation to meet the needs of rapidly growing and urbanising populations.

He added that many developing countries facing energy supply challenges are likely to record an increase in energy demand if the transition process is not just and fair.

Komolafe further said that  Nigeria has the chance to leverage the energy transition by pioneering innovative renewable-energy businesses to meet the growing energy demand of Africa while also creating new revenue streams and jobs.

The NUPRC boss said, within the next few years most International Oil Companies (IOCs) shall divest from onshore oil and gas assets due to poor return on investment as a result of crude oil theft and this may pose threat to job security.

He, however, said that it was expected that indigenous players would leverage on this to recruit experienced professionals who would in turn grow local capacity.

Komolafe urged indigenous players to take advantage of the predictable licensing rounds as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and relevant regulations to form big mega companies that would grow in-country capacity and also expand outside the shores of Nigeria.

“Energy transition is valid, however, the timing is uncertain. We are very aware that the energy transition may threaten job security and stifle investment in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

“I align fully with the policy of the government which is hinged on ensuring that we utilise our huge gas resources as a transition fuel towards cleaner energy sources. We must utilise our hydrocarbon resources for industrialisation and economic growth.

“The PIA, its corresponding regulations, and government policies have the capacity to build a resilient and sustainable oil and gas industry.

“These will latch onto critical socio-economic factors across the world to increase gas production, and build a robust gas infrastructure that will entrench Nigeria as a gas hub across Africa and Europe.

“All these will in turn create more jobs and attract investment across the petroleum value chain for the benefit of the Nigerian workforce.

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