President Muhammdu Buhari has restated the resolve of the Nigerian government to drive dual energy policy of remaining a major source and consumer of fossil energy while aligning with the global trend for energy transition.
President Buhari whose address was delivered at the Nigerian International Energy Summit (NIES) in Abuja reiterated the position of the country in the league of global oil and gas suppliers and its commitment to deriving optimal market opportunities for the development of the country.
The Oracle Today reports that oil prices crossed the $100 per barrel market amidst concerns of tight supplies and withering spare capacity of key producers who have suffered low investments as a result of rising global indignation against fossil fuel.
In calling on players to launch off exploration and development investments in the country after decades of apathy over fiscal disputes, President Buhari said the resolution of fiscal disputes and clear regulatory environment all guaranteed in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) the speedy rise of oil prices provide great incentive to relaunch full scale activities in the upstream petroleum industry.
“With the PIA in place, there should be no excuses. The enabling investment environment which has been the bane of the industry has been taken care of by provisions in the PIA. There is now a level of certainty for the regulatory, administrative and fiscal framework and the legitimate grievances of host communities most impacted by activities of the industry has been addressed by the Act.”
In providing direction for the industry President Buhari said his administration’s Decade of Gas Initiative emphasizes movement towards a gas-based economy. He pointed at strong market outlook for petroleum energy in the medium to long term, adding that Nigeria would positions to tap into the revenue opportunities and also meet domestic demand for energy.
The General Secretary of the Organization of Petroleum Countries (OPEC) HE Dr Mohammed Barkindo, had reiterated that oil would continue to dominate the global energy mix long into the future. He explained that rising global population, massive urbanization and associated demand for energy would continue to widen the supply gap in the global energy market.
He said the renewable energy industry which forms the basis for energy transition is still in infancy, cost intensive, unavailable and unaffordable in developing countries where, he said, energy poverty remains endemic.
The share of renewables in the overall global energy mix would be only 20 percent by 2050, he told The Oracle Today while pointing at the long term demand projection for oil and gas.
Dr Barkindo is the Nigerian oil diplomat who is coordinating the prevailing global response to supply crisis blamed for triggering inflation in energy intensive industrialized economies.
President Buhari amplified Dr Barkindo’s energy predictions on Monday, stating that petroleum would remain the country’s key driver of economic development in the medium to long term, adding that the prevailing crude oil price surge presents opportunity for the troubled Nigerian economy.
In projecting natural gas as transition fuel to cleaner energy, President Muhammadu Buhari said that the country’s vast natural gas resources would remain a key driver for its development.
“Given the country’s potential of about 600 trillion cubic feet, natural gas has the enormous potential to diversify and grow Nigeria’s economy,” he said.
In moderating the position of the country into dual policy option, President Buhari said Nigeria was not losing sight of the coordinated global movement to address the challenges of climate change and migration of energy demand from emission sources.
“We are fully aware that energy transition raises the bar in terms of environmental, social and governance demands,” he said, adding that efforts were ongoing to ensure that the “country joins in the race for net zero carbon emission.”
In his ministerial address at the event, HE Chief Timipre Sylva restated that government would adopt energy policy model that would simultaneously address the challenges of energy-poverty, sustainability and climate change.
He pointed at acute energy poverty in Africa as major problem for consideration in the prevailing global push for energy transition, saying that the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change together provided an integrated pathway toward a more equitable and sustainable future.
“For countries such as Nigeria that is rich in natural resources, but still energy poor, the transition must not come at the expense of affordable and reliable energy for people, cities, and industry.
“On the contrary, it must be inclusive, equitable, and just, which means preserving the right to sustainable development and poverty eradication as enshrined in global treaties such as the Paris accord.
“It is evident that what makes the most sense from the point of view of balancing energy security with environmental sustainability is the use of gas as a transition fuel,” the minister said.
He said Natural gas ticked all the boxes as the vehicle to help government achieve the aspiration.