BusinessDay

Nigeria’s oil reserves can last for 60yrs if well managed- NEITI

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), a transparency watchdog, has said that Nigeria’s oil reserves can last for the next 60 years if it is well managed.

Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, executive secretary, and national coordinator, NEITI made this known in his opening remarks at a national dialogue on energy transition in Nigeria.

The dialogue was organised by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) in collaboration with the Nigeria Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and BudgIT Foundation.

Orji further said that the dialogue was designed to provide a multi-stakeholder platform for state and non-state actors to discuss, debate, and make meaningful contributions to Nigeria’s energy transition.

He further said that his team had reviewed the recently launch energy transition plan, however, it has not provided a general broad outlook based on responsibilities, funding, and beneficiaries of the value chain.

“In an oil-dependent country, Nigeria is highly vulnerable to be exposed to the risk and challenges of the energy transition,” Orji said.

“The global energy transition agenda is already shaping the oil and gas landscape across the world.”

According to Orji, just recently, at the United Nations conference, COP26 in Glasgow, 26 countries and some public finance institutions, announced the commitment to ending finance for overseas fossil energy projects this year.

He added that the countries include the U.S., European countries, UK, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal and Canada. The action was informed by the mission to align international public support towards clean energy transition.

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“Oil and gas companies are now channelling their investment in alternative energy sources. Some are even changing their name from oil to energy,” Orji said.

He further said that as the world transits from the use of fossil oil to cleaner and sustainable energy, transparency, accountability, equity and justice must drive this transition.

“It is critical to the process, including the reporting of emissions, full disclosure of climate change risk to countries and overall governance of the energy industry,” Orji said.

“Similarly, NEITI believes that Nigeria’s energy transition journey must be driven and strictly guided by credible information on the country’s energy security, and Nigeria’s strategic national interest.”

Nigeria’s energy transition decisions should not be rushed without a thorough analysis of its comparative advantage and implications on our gas and oil reserves, economy, livelihood and jobs for its citizens, Orji said.

“As a statutory body and a leading multi-stakeholder platform for dialogue on natural resources in Nigeria, NEITI has a pivotal role to play in shaping the government’s policy on energy transition, Orji said.

“NEITI is ensuring inclusivity of the process and sustainability of public discourse in the development of the plan that is why we are hosting the dialogue.”

The NEITI’s boss maintained that the dialogue will also develop a shared agenda that will include perspectives and data analysis on how the transition will affect Nigeria’s economy and the government’s adopted approach.

“NEITI believes that the government needs to make informed and evidence-based decisions to engage with the transition process in meaningful, impactful, and beneficial ways that will ensure the country is not left behind,” Orji said.

“Nigeria needs to avoid bad decisions and put in place an appropriate policy response that mitigates the risks and enhances the benefits and diversification potential of the transition to the country.”

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