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Kyari urges African countries to prioritise energy security for citizens

...says corporation has over $30bn assets, can't fail Nigerians

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kolo Kyari, has called on African countries to focus on providing structures that will ensure energy security for their citizens.

He made the call in Abuja during the ongoing third edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS).

Kyari told the gathering that his organisation, NNPC, has a framework that works towards ensuring energy security in Nigeria.

“African countries must know that each must focus on building structures that ensure energy security for the citizens. NNPC is committed to that and has a framework to make sure that the needed energy is available for the needs of the country,” he stated.

The national oil company boss acknowledged the global clamour for energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources but, however, noted that hydrocarbons will continue to form the larger part of the energy mix in the foreseeable future.

“Several researches continue to confirm that by 2040, renewables will be contributing about 20 percent of the global energy mix. This implies that fossil fuels will still contribute at least 70 percent,” he said.

He, therefore, urged African countries, which are still mostly underdeveloped, to continue to utilise the hydrocarbon resources available to them to develop energy sources for their populace.

“The focus must be in making sure that the energy is clean. We have to use what we have. Today, oil is being found in unexpected places. This contributes to the growth of middle class consumers. And so demand of fuel will continue with increase with population and prosperity. Global demands will remain over 100 million barrels per day” he said, adding that African countries should focus, not solely on the glamour for renewables but largely on the need to deliver energy for the development of their people.

“On our own part, we as the national oil company must continuously strive to deliver the best for Nigerians in the oil and gas sector; and as a corporation with over $30bn worth of assets, cannot afford to fail Nigerians.

“We would continuously strive for reforms that advance the positive cause of 200 mill Nigerians who are the shareholders in the sector. We would continuously drive reforms that give us answers to a transparent oil and gas sector that attracts investment, ” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Chikezie Nwosu, Managing Director of Waltersmith Petroman, agreed that African countries have huge resource deposits, but are very low on resource consumption and consequently, low Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. He called on African countries to focus more on consumption against export.

“The key thing to do is to decarbonize fossil fuels. Africans must not focus on selling commodities but on converting the hydrocarbons into consumable products,” Nwosu stated.

Nwosu used the forum to announce that his company is building the needed infrastructure that will convert fossil fuels’ feed stock into consumable products.

Also speaking on the development of the gas sector for national economic growth, Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, President of the Nigerian Gas Association noted that the power sector is the largest consumer of gas in the country.

The power sector, however, she revealed, is “plagued by huge liquidity issues”, asserting that such uncertainty is not attractive to new investors. She called for a better commercial framework that will attract more investors to develop the gas sector.


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