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Nigeria must develop industrial policies to enjoy gains of energy transition – Osinbajo

As nations of the world embrace energy transition, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stressed on the need for Nigeria, as well as other developing countries to position themselves for the gains embedded in the fast approaching energy regime by developing relevant industrial policies.

Speaking at the Seplat Energy summit on Thursday, Osinbajo said that energy transitioning offers a wide range of benefits beyond those relating to energy security, climate and environment.

According to him, policies that support and aid the deployment and integration of renewable energy must go hand in hand with the broader set of policies which ensure that industrial and other economic capabilities aligns with social economic development, and climate priorities as well as other environmental objectives.

“Transformation of the energy sector provides ample opportunities for sustained economic development, social inclusion, energy security, job creation and other societal benefits, if achieved in an inclusive manner.

“However, it would require careful management and broad engagement in order to balance delicate and diverse interests.

“Industrial policy will play a major role in providing the productive structures that underpin green energy especially in developing countries, some of these countries lack related capabilities and there are market forces that may hinder optimal outcome,” he said.

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The Vice president who was represented by the Minister of state for environment, Sharon Ikeazor, noted that the global oil and gas sector in recent times is faced with a series of challenges including increasing population and economic growth with the attendant increasing demand for energy services.

In his remark, the chairman of Seplat Energy, ABC Orjiako, disclosed the plans of the company to achieve an end to gas Flaring by 2024.

According to him, the company in the first quarter of 2022 will launch the ‘tree for life initiative’, to address youth unemployment and desert encroachment.

He said, “Seplat Energy delivers over 50percent of gas supply in Nigeria. Seplat is to remove gas flares by 2024. Our plan is to replace all of the wood we use in homes with the use of Liquified Petroleum Gas which is a cleaner energy. 0ver 500kg of gas will be delivered to LGP.”

“Seplat Energy will be launching our tree planting initiatives from the first quarter of 2022, which will drive youth employment and a cleaner environment.

“Replacing diesel generators with cleaner renewable energy will definitely solve Nigeria’s power deficit.”

In his remark, the minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva stated while acknowledging the nation’s commitments to net-zero as a nation, there is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria requires fossil fuel as its base load energy source.

According to him, the clamour to emphasise only renewable energy as the sole pathway to energy transition is a source of concern for African countries that are still working to achieve base load industrialisation.

“This is why in Nigeria; we reject the concept of a single pathway to the energy transition.

“Indeed, we prefer the concept of ‘just’ energy transition which takes into cognisance the specific circumstances of each nation in developing the energy transition pathway that best achieves the environmental, social, political and economic objectives of the transition in that specific nation,” he said.

He stressed on the need for multiple pathways to the energy transition in order to ensure that no country is left behind in the process of achieving net-zero by 2050.

Speaking on the importance of gas in Nigeria’s plan for energy transition, he said, “First is the focus on gas. For us, this is at the heart of the energy transition and represents the first step in the journey to renewables, away from oil.

“Already, we have declared that gas is our transition fuel, and also represents a destination fuel, as we envisage that it will be part of our energy mix by 2050, given the vast resources that can be commercialised and utilised.”

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