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Africa is energy poor, needs funds, infrastructure- AfDB

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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) says Africa is energy poor and requires a significant inflow of infrastructure investment and funds to achieve its energy goal.

Akinwumi Adesina, president, of AfDB said this at the 2023 Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) currently holding in Abuja from April 16-20 with the theme “global perspectives for a sustainable energy future.”

In his address which focused on security vs energy transition- global perspectives for a sustainable energy future, Adesina said despite the crucial need for energy security, access to finance for developing countries was increasingly being made contingent to net zero commitment. He added that Africa’s energy transition will require $100 billion annually in investments between 2020 and 2040.

“Lack of energy security poses an existential threat to human security. Consequently, many countries are prioritising energy security even as increased fossil fuel use impairs climate action; with their energy security plans centred on gas as a transition fuel,” he said.

The AfDB president who was represented by Lamin Barrow, the director-general of AfDB, said many Asian countries have prioritised energy security by increasing purchases above price caps and in non-dollar denominated contracts while Germany and the UK have turned back to coal for power generation

Taking a cue from this, Adesina said that through a combination of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, green hydrogen etc and the pragmatic utilisation of gas as a transition fuel, the continent was well positioned to achieve net zero target.

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“To guarantee food and energy security, Africa must build a domestic economy resilient to global and regional shocks which have increased in intensity and frequency. To meet SDG7, African countries need to connect 90 million people annually to electricity over the next eight years and move 130 million people to use clean cooking fuels,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in his remarks, said upon assumption of office in 2015, the energy sector was not in a good position and suffered numerous challenges which his administration addressed gradually.

Highlighting some of his administration’s achievements, Buhari who was represented by Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), said his administration combatted the issue of funding and sensitised the oil and gas sector, passed the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), committed to the net zero emission goal, etc.

“We officially declared natural gas as the transition fuel for Nigeria and launched many initiatives to ensure natural gas utilisation is a reality; we are also making progress with the gas flare commercialisation programme which provides opportunities for the Federal Government, industries, state governments and local communities to work together,” he said.

Speaking on infrastructure , he said one of the projects embarked on include the $2.8 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline, a 614km-long natural gas pipeline which will transport up to 3,500 million cubic feet of gas daily, help generate 3.6 gigawatts of power and support gas based industries.

Buhari said the energy sector will continually be prioritised until the end of his administration, while the achievements will aid the incoming administration to start strong.

Gabriel Aduda, the permanent secretary, ministry of petroleum resources, on his part, said as global economies expand and demand for energy gas rises, it is important to find sustainable and innovative ways to meet the growing demand.

“We are also committed to a sustainable energy future and we are investing in renewable energy as well, energy efficiency and clean technologies; we believe that by working together, we can build a more resilient, sustainable and equitable energy future for all,” he said.

Mele Kyari, GCEO, NNPCL said: “Our mandate of providing energy for our country still remains a priority. NNPC is poised to reliably deliver energy to our stakeholders, through efficient utilisation of hydrocarbons and other new energy sources which our country is blessed with.

Kyari was represented by Mohammed Ahmed, the executive vice president of gas, power and new energy, NNPCL said.