Nigeria says addressing energy poverty, climate change critical to achieving Global Future Fuel

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By Emmanuella Anokam
Abuja, Feb. 28, 2022 The Federal Government says in adopting global future fuels, energy-poverty and climate change nexus have to be addressed simultaneously and must be geared toward clean and sustainable sources.

Chief Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources said this on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the Fifth Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES 2022).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the summit is “Revitalising the Industry: Future Fuels and Energy Transition”.

Sylva said the African continent was bedeviled with energy poverty, which was a critical enabler to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17.

He said goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change together provided an integrated pathway toward a more equitable and sustainable future.

“For countries such as Nigeria that is rich in natural resources, but still energy poor, the transition must not come at the expense of affordable and reliable energy for people, cities, and industry.

“On the contrary, it must be inclusive, equitable, and just, which means preserving the right to sustainable development and poverty eradication as enshrined in global treaties such as the Paris accord.

“It is evident that what makes the most sense from the point of view of balancing energy security with environmental sustainability is the use of gas as a transition fuel,” the minister said.

He said Natural gas ticked all the boxes as the vehicle to help government achieve the aspiration.

According to him, it is why the government embraced the resource to help turn around the economy by declaring year 2021-2030 as Nigeria’s decade of gas.

To demonstrate that, he noted that it was committed to the Decade of Gas, which had now become an integral part of the Federal Government’s Oil and Gas Road map.

The minister said it had embarked on a critical pathway to ensure that the over 200 Trillion Standard Cubic Feet (TSCF) proven reserves of Natural gas in Nigeria was marshalled to engender domestic economic growth and development beyond 2030.

“Thus, we are driving to make natural gas our dominant primary energy source for use in the medium to Long term.

“Thankfully, our reliable partner, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited is not backing out. They are fully backing this initiative all the way,” he said.

In this regard, he said the ministry had inaugurated the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) to expand Nigeria’s Domestic utilisation.

This, he said was part of the National Gas Policy, the National Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, as well as specific provisions in the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 that elevates Liquefied Petroleum Gas as the fuel of choice compared to other competing fuels.

With this programme, he said it had established a 20 million Cylinder Injection Scheme; five-10 million of these were to be introduced in pilot states this year.

“We have also established an LPG Energy Fund in the order of 50 million dollars in its first phase, in partnership with AFREXIMBANK,”

“LPG is set to be part of the destination as it is being used as a precursor for green hydrogen with zero emission.

“An eventual move to bio-LPG will allow countries like Nigeria to keep existing infrastructure in place, capitalise on already existing supply and distribution chains and reach net-zero at far lower cost,” he said.

The minister assured participants that the outcome of the summit would be presented at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

“Nigeria and the African Continent count on you at this moment to ensure we move our oil and gas industry forward.”