• Sat. Sep 30th, 2023

Energy transition: Nigeria must hasten slowly; prioritise national interest


Oct 8, 2022
By Bassey Udo 
Nigeria must not rush into a hasty decision to join the energy transition train without a thorough analysis of its comparative advantage and implications on the country’s and resources, economy, jobs and livelihoods of her citizens, the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.
The extractive industry transparency and accountability agency said it was fully in support of a just, fair and equitable energy transition that prioritises Nigeria’s national interest, particularly in terms of engagements and responses to the global energy transition process.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, spoke at the National Dialogue on energy transition convened by the NEITI in collaboration with the Africa Climate Foundation, BudgiT, and the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI) in the Abuja on Thursday.
Nigeria’s priorities in NEITI’s considerations, Orji said, was to shift to renewable energy by identifying the opportunities in its untapped oil, gas and mining resources.
“NEITI believes Nigeria’s energy transition journey must be driven and strictly guided by credible information and data on the country’s energy security and most importantly, our strategic national interest, ” Orji said.
The NEITI Executive Secretary said clarity in the attendant risks to Nigeria, strategy to manage the risks and plans to maximize the opportunities including the diversification of the economy, energy security and its attendant technology needs as well as citizens’ education and awareness shape the country’s overall response.
He welcomed the prompt decision of the Federal Government to unfold the National Energy Transition Plan in February this year.
The National Dialogue, Orji said, would stimulate public debate and engagements on the Plan and ensure its implementation was robust, equitable and responsive to the present and future needs of Nigerians.
As an agency with a mandate to promote transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors, apart from the from being a multi-stakeholder platform for dialogue on natural resources governance, he said NEITI has legitimate roles to play in shaping public debates and government policy on energy transition.
Also, as the world transits from the use of fossil fuel to cleaner and sustainable energy, he said transparency and accountability must be mainstreamed into the process, including the reporting of emissions, disclosure of climate risks and overall governance of the energy industry, to avoid the pitfalls of her past and present energy experiences.
Being an oil and gas-dependent country, he said Nigeria was highly vulnerable and exposed to the risks and challenges of the energy transition.
With the announcement by 26 countries and some financial institutions at the last United Nations Climate Conference, COP26 in Glasgow that they were ending financing of overseas fossil fuel energy projects by the end of the year 2022, Orji said this has grave implications on Nigeria’s plans.
This, he said, was an indicator that the global energy transition agenda was already reshaping the oil and gas landscape.
Also speaking, West Africa Regional Manager at the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Nafi Chinery, said Nigeria’s emphasis on gas as a transition fuel aligns with the thinking of most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the African Union Commission in the run-up to COP27.
Highlighting the huge energy poverty on the continent, Chinery disclosed that Africa, with 17 percent of the global population, accounts for only 3.1 percent of the over 26,823 terawatt-hours of electricity generated, and 3.3percent of the primary energy consumed globally in 2020.
Chinery explained that the continent’s average per capita electricity consumption sits at about 600kilowatt hours per year, compared with a world average of about 3,200-kilowatt hours.
In other words, Chinery said while Africa consumes less and accounts for little of the global carbon emission, it was impacted more by the effects of energy transition and needs to act fast in considering alternatives, if it is to guarantee the future of its economies.
Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mohammed Bello urged Nigeria to lead the conversation on energy transition for Africa, by developing a roadmap for the implementation plan for the continent.
In his goodwill message, the Chief Finance Officer of NNPC Limited, Umar Ajiya, expressed the company’s support for Nigeria’s 2060 net zero emissions target.
Ajiya who represented NNPCL Group CEO, Mele Kyari, commended NEITI for organizing the dialogue and helping to bridge the trust gap between the government and the people.
Also speaking, the EITI Country Manager, Anglophone Africa, Mike Uzoigwe highlighted that the energy transition discourse in Nigeria we would impact the country’s revenue, leveraging on EITI data to produce debates and information policy on Energy transition.
The national dialogue looked at the role of gas, the diversification of Nigeria’s economy and the financing of Nigeria’s energy transition project. The event was organized by NEITI in collaboration with NRGI, BudgIT Foundation and African Climate Foundation.
The dialogue was to provide a multi-stakeholder platform for state and non-state actors to discuss, debate, engage and make meaningful contributions to the ongoing discourse on the transition from fossil fuel energy sources such as oil, gas and coal to cleaner, renewable and sustainable energy sources.

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