• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Nigeria loses $1.4bn to unremitted gas royalties, flare penalties – NEITI

Gas flaring: A history of missed deadlines

Nigeria has lost $1.4 billion to unpaid gas royalties and gas flaring penalties, according to a new report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

Ogbonnaya Orji, the executive secretary of NEITI, made this known on Thursday in Abuja at a roundtable event organised by BudgIT Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, on tracking energy transition costs and transparency in the budgeting.

According to Orji, this was contained in the Transparency Initiative’s most recent report on the oil and gas and mining sectors for 2021.

Orji stated that deliberate investments in the solid minerals sector, gas infrastructure and commercialisation, human capital development, and use of low-carbon hydrogen as priority areas of focus in the country’s budgeting to respond to energy transition and climate change.

“These opportunities come at a cost that requires commitment to compute them in terms of human and material resources,” he said.

In addition, the NEITI helmsman reiterated the importance of gas commercialisation as an important pathway for Nigeria to mitigate the risks and economic impacts of climate change and energy transition.

“NEITI’s recent report of the oil and gas industry disclosed a total unremitted revenue of gas royalty payments of $559.8 million and another unremitted sum of $828.8 million from unpaid gas flare penalties.

“A close look at these figures indicated that more gas was flared during the period than utilised, thereby posing serious dangers to the global zero emissions agenda,” he added.

He called for a review of the country’s gas commercialisation policy to align with Tinubu’s commitments to climate change and green economic solutions.

Orji announced that NEITI, with the support of international development partners like the Ford Foundation, has commenced a research study on the impacts of energy transition on Nigeria’s economy.

The study, he said, would identify specific impacts on revenues, jobs, livelihood, the environment, food security, gender, and control of emissions.

Also speaking at the event, Ishaq Salako, Minister of State for Environment, said that the FG, through the Ministry of Environment, had initiated the National Climate Change Policy and Climate Change Act.

He said this would provide a comprehensive policy framework and roadmap for the country’s national climate action, as he emphasised the importance of transparency in climate budgeting.

The minister announced that a National Green Bond Programme has been launched to pioneer the issuance of sovereign green bonds in Africa to finance projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development.

“So far Nigeria has issued two sovereign green bonds, raising a total sum of N25.69 billion to finance 39 projects cutting across afforestation, renewable energy, transportation, agriculture, and water resources.

“The process for the issuance of the third sovereign green bond is ongoing and has reached advance stage,” Salako said.