By Bassey Udo
Ahead of the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland next week, the Group Managing Director/CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, has called for what he refers as “energy justice” for Africa in the implementation of energy transition.
During the conference, discussions would focus on countries transiting to less carbon-intensive energy sources, which has been gaining momentum in the last few years, with global leaders calling for a shift away from fossil fuels as a critical action towards tackling climate crisis.
Speaking at the 17th All Nigerian Editors’ Conference in Abuja where he was Special Guest of Honour, Kyari said wholesale execution of energy transition without regard to the peculiar socio-economic conditions of various countries would cause dislocations that could exacerbate security challenges in developing nations.
Kyari, whose paper was titled “Insecurity as it Affects the Oil and Gas Sector”, maintained that his concept of energy justice was to allow each country, especially developing nations, progress at their own pace, while leveraging on their hydrocarbon resources for smooth transition to Net Zero by 2050.
“Talking about energy transition, it is my very well-considered view that there must be energy justice, which means that countries should develop at their own pace, while taking into consideration the realities that they face,” Kyari said.
The NNPC CEO said individual nations should be allowed to transit on the basis of their contributions to the carbon emission to the point that ultimately, there would be justice for all by 2050.
“Energy justice would ensure that as we transit, we are allowed to develop at a pace and in a manner that is just,” Kyari added.
The NNPC helmsman also urged the media industry and other stakeholders to champion the cause of energy justice in the global quest for cleaner energy, stressing that gas development remained the only option for Nigeria to achieve energy transition.
On NNPC’s refineries and the role they play in ensuring energy security for the country, Kyari said the NNPC management under his leadership was keen on changing the narrative and getting the refineries back on stream by taking advantage of the free-hand given by President Muhammadu Buhari to do the right thing.
“This is the first time in history the NNPC and its subsidiaries are allowed to do things the way things should be done. Now, I can confirm to you that we have taken responsibility and we will fix the refineries. We have started the process, contractors have been mobilized to the Port Harcourt refinery, while the same process for Warri and Kaduna refineries will conclude by the end of this year,” he declared.
On the menace of crude oil and petroleum products theft, the NNPC CEO said much progress has been made through collaboration with the various security agencies.
He called for support of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and other stakeholders towards reducing insecurity within the oil and gas industry.
Earlier, the President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, Mustapha Isah, said the purpose of the conference was to find solution to the various security challenges facing the country.
Isah also called on all stakeholders to rise up to the insecurity challenge by giving their best in defence of the nation.