Despite their support for the quest for the global energy transition, Nigeria and other energyproducers in Africa are committed to push for a separate agenda that would allow them continue to find and produce gas and attract fresh investments in the oil industry, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said.
Nigeria, like other African countries endowed with hydrocarbon resources, Sylva said, would remain at the vanguard of the crusade for a multifaceted energy transition timetable that would help attract more investments in the oil and gas industry for Africa while taking cognizance of the current global energy transition in the direction of renewable energy.
Sylva spoke on the heels of a collective solution by African petroleum and energy ministers to present a common voice at COP 27 scheduled for Egypt in November.
“Nigeria will continue to drive the direction of the narrative for the African energy transition programme. We have stood out to say no to a single track energy transition programme and will continue to support a transition agenda that will promote gas and renewed investments in the hydrocarbon sector for Africa,” Sylva said on Sunday.
Sylva, along with the Egyptian Energy Minister, Terek el Molla, have been the main voices in articulating a multi-track approach to the quest for energy transition for Africa.
Both leaders were of the view that for the energy transition agenda to be meaningful, Africa must be factored into the global energy transition equation in such a way that takes care of the peculiar African situations.
Nigeria, he pointed out, would continue to advocate for gas as a transition fuel for Africa, adding that the country has already said they could not move at the same pace with the rests of the world because we contribute less that 2 percent of the global green house gas emission. “We are not the problem and we can not be made to pay for the sins we did not commit”.
The minister added that for anyone to say “we (Africans) should abandon our abundant hydrocarbon deposits for the uncertainties of renewable energy is most unfair. As we speak today, we still have people without clean cooking fuels.
“In Africa, we have over 600 million people without basic energy. So, how do we meet their energy base load? We can only achieve this through gas development. It’s only through a multi-prong approach that we can achieve this. It is obvious that we cannot move at the same pace with the rest of the world as far as the energy transition programme is concerned,” Sylva said.
At the just-concluded Cerraweek event, in Houston, United States of America, a forth night ago, Sylva and El Molla led other African ministers to meet where they resolved to project a common front in the energy transition timetable for Africa.
The African ministers resolved to speak and present a common front for Africa in global energy transition agenda.
“We have huge hydrocarbon deposits in the continent and must we abandon it because some people have said we should? Some African countries like Ghana, Angola and others are just coming to the table and should they just abandon what they have, because some countries are saying we should develop renewable energy? That will be an unfair decision,” Sylva said.
“We are not saying we won’t be part of the transition train for renewable energy, but what we are saying as Africans is that we should be allowed to develop our natural resources and enjoy the God-given resources. Am happy that the world is beginning to listen to Africa, and we are happy about that, and we intend to build on that momentum at COP27, in Egypt by coming out with a common position,” he said.9