The government was not prepared to discard crude oil as it remains Nigeria’s baseload energy source, Minister of State (Petroleum Resources) Timipre Sylva on Thursday said that while gas remains the focus of Nigeria in driving the energy transition agenda.
Sylva made the disclosure in Abuja at the Seplat Energy Summit 2021 with the theme “Global Trends in Energy Transition and the Africa Perspective”.
According to him, Nigeria intends to explore multiple avenues in gradually weaning the country off dirty or fossil fuels as it acknowledges its commitments to net-zero pollution as a country.
‘This is undoubtedly a major concern for climate activists in developed nations, but the clamour to emphasise only renewable energy as the sole pathway to energy transition is a source of concern for African countries that are still working to achieve baseload industrialisation, address energy poverty and ensure reliable power supply.
‘This is why in Nigeria, we reject the concept of a single pathway to the energy transition. Indeed, we prefer the concept of ‘just’ energy transition which takes into cognizance the specific circumstances of each nation in developing the energy transition pathway that best achieves the environmental, social, political and economic objectives of the transition in that specific nation.
Multiple pathways to the energy transition should and must exist in order to ensure that no country is left behind in the process of achieving net-zero by 2050.
‘In Nigeria, the position above recognises the possibility of a structural decline in the price of oil and consequential fiscal vulnerabilities that may arise, as well as the increased risk exposure therefrom, and is responding to it in several ways.
‘First is the focus on gas. For us, this is at the heart of the energy transition and represents the first step in the journey to renewables away from oil.
Already, we have declared that gas is our transition fuel, and also represents a destination fuel, as we envisage that it will be part of our energy mix by 2050, given the vast resources that can be commercialised and utilised.
‘Furthermore, generous incentives have been proposed in the PIA 2021 to enable development, distribution, penetration and utilisation of gas.
The National Gas Expansion Programme was also launched in January 2020 to drive domestic utilisation.
Our proven gas reserves are sufficient to cover current demand levels and support plans for the construction of nine new gas-fired power plants with a combined name-plate capacity of nearly 6,000 MW by 2037.
This validates gas as a viable and transformational fuel for industrial development,’ the minister explained.
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