Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva (with shovel) watching Chairman, NNPC Ltd., Margery Okadigbo, as she plants a tree on Tuesday By Bassey Udo
As part of its commitment to realise its 2024 net zero target under the low carbon count initiative, Seplat Energy PLC on Tuesday unveiled a plan to support the planting of five million trees across the country in the next five years.
The Managing Director of the indigenous oil and gas company, Roger Brown, who disclosed this in Abuja at the launch of the “Seplat Tree-4-Life” campaign, said the initial target would be five states, with a plan to plant at least one million trees every year.
Brown identified Edo, Delta and Imo as three of the states in its area of operations in the southern part of the country to benefit from the programme, in addition to two other states in the northern part of the country he said were yet to be named.
The MD, who described the exercise as a win-win for everyone, said apart from helping the company take care of the food security challenges, it would also help to educate the people, promote diversity in environmental protection, in terms net zero carbon emission.
The Chairman of the company, ABC Orjiakor, said the “Seplat Tree-4-Life” initiative was one of the ways the company was fulfilling its promise at the Seplat Energy Summit in October 2021, to continue to keep the carbon count in its operations low in line with the energy transition agenda.
For Seplat Energy, Orjiakor described energy transition as balancing access to quality energy supply (which Sustainable Development Goal 17) with a commitment to protect the climate and environment (SDG 13).
He said Seplat Energy was interested in a just energy transition, in view of the degrading impact of human activities on the environment, and the need for its protection.
“Seplat Energy believes the net zero carbon emission is not net zero fossil fuels. In all that is happening in the world, resulting in the current energy crisis and energy poverty, how these problems are solved should be such that the energy problem should be resolved in relation to access to energy.
If more than 60 percent of the country’s population live in darkness due to no access to energy, he said it was not just for anyone to expect Nigeria not to continue investing in the development of fossil fuels.
He said the commitment to realizing the net zero carbon emission target would impact the way Seplat does its business, in terms of working to remove the flares, ensuring efficiency, driving the midstream business and maintaining 25-30 percent gas-to-power in Nigeria.
Noting that more than 80 percent of the energy need in our environment was in the domestic household, adding that this was as a result of complete deforestation of the environment, which encourages climate change devastation and carbon dioxide and greenhouse emissions to the environment.
The tree planting exercise, Orjiakor said would help in checking deforestation, and protect the environment and forest, and encourage reforestation by encouraging tree planting everywhere we are.
“When you plant a tree, you are not only controlling carbon emission, but getting oxygen that gives life.
“When you plant trees that can provide food, you are contributing to food security, while generating jobs, especially among the youth and prosperity.
To reduce carbon emissions, Orjiakor said we must eradicate energy poverty, which is what Seplat aaEnergy is doing, by providing accessible, affordable and reliable energy to drive socio-economic prosperity.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, commended Seplat Energy’s commitment towards net-zero emission initiative.
Describing Seplat Energy as a responsible operator in the industry, which is leading the way to realise Nigeria’s target of achieving net zero carbon emission by 2060, he said what this required was sustained financial assistance, technology transfer and capacity building from international partners.
He said the country’s commitment behoves all operators in the industry to establish pathways to realize net zero by 2060.
“As a government, corridors and pathways are being created that industry operators can take advantage of.
The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is an enabler, and the pathway to net zero is gas. The PIA will enable a lot of gas projects, but it behoves the operators of the industry to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the PIA to deepen the gas business in Nigeria.
The PIA proposes a fiscal regime that encourages investment in order to monetise existing reserves in the short to medium term, and generous incentives to enable development, distribution, penetration and utilisation of gas.
“To achieve the target, the government has declared 2021-2030 as the decade of gas as well as develop a roadmap to achieve it.
The government is also creating corridors to deepen the gas business, including the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline corridor across Nigeria, from the Southern part to the North; the West Africa Gas Pipeline corridor to Morocco; the Trans-Saharan Pipeline and the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code.
During the event goodwill messages were received from the Chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited Board, Margery Okadigbo; the Group Managing Director/CEO, NNPC, Mele Kyari and the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor.