To achieve net zero emission target by 2060, Nigeria must ensure it’s net zero pledge and commitment include policies that will help control greenhouse gases produced in-country and carry out major reforms in energy production and utilisation, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.
Speaking as a special guest at the 2nd German-Nigeria Symposium on Green Hydrogen held in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, such commitments should also find accommodation for concerns about energy security, jobs, livelihoods, the economy, robust citizen’s engagement and deliberate investments in the expansion of gas infrastructure.
To ensure a meaningful constructive dialogue on energy transition, the Executive Secretary said that with United Nations projection that Nigeria’s population would rise to over about 260 million by 2030 and over 400 million by 2050, there was an urgent need for deliberations on Energy Transition to focus on investments in technology, innovation, exploration, production and commercialization of gas for Nigeria to meet the 2060 net zero target.
“Nigeria has identified natural gas as its transition fuel. At over 200 trillion cubic feet, Nigeria has the largest gas reserves in Africa and the 9th largest in the world. And with increasing new gas discoveries on the way from ongoing frontier explorations across the country, NEITI believes that gas will play a very important role in the energy transition discussion, as gas has the potential to produce blue hydrogen, which, though not as clean as green hydrogen, would be useful in the country’s journey towards cleaner energy sources,” Orji said.
He expressed concern that at a time that gas is fast surpassing crude oil in revenue generation for resource-rich countries, the rate of gas flaring, with huge negative consequences on environmental pollution, are on the increase in Nigeria.
Making reference to NEITI’s recent oil and gas audit report which disclosed unremitted revenues of over $8.2billion as a result huge liabilities by government agencies and oil and gas companies, the NEITI Chief said a breakdown of the unremitted payments in the report showed outstanding gas royalty payments of $559.8million and another unremitted $828.8 million from unpaid gas flare penalty.
He said these confirmed that more gas was being flared in the country during the period than is being utilised.
The situation, Orji lamented, was posing serious dangers to the global zero emissions agenda, apart from huge revenue losses to the country.
The upsurge in gas flaring and its consequent impact in the form of revenues loss to the country, he noted, informed NEITI’s interest to support and encourage Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to fast track the Commission’s on-going gas utilisation and commercialization project.
While reaffirming NEITI’s commitment to supporting the country’s energy transition programme with crucial facts, reliable information and data to guide its successful implementation, he . commended the organisers of the symposium for its objectives aimed at promoting the realization of the set target.
The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Annett Gunther, explained that the Symposium was convened by Germany as a product of discussions with the Nigerian government by the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, when he visited Nigeria recently as part of her country’s commitment to support Nigeria’s carbon emission reduction and diversification of her energy resources.
Also at the Symposium, the Minister of State for Environment, Kunle Salako welcomed the expansion of the Nigerian-German Cooperation in the areas of energy security, diversification and environmental safety.
He pledged the country’s readiness to build on the opportunities that the German-Nigeria Symposium on Green Hydrogen would provide.
The Minister urged the Conference to come up with far reaching recommendations that would help shape Nigeria’s Energy Transition agenda.