Stakeholders in the extractive industry have said that as a fossil fuel dependent country, Nigeria must develop its own strategy to engage in shifting global focus away from oil.
This was the conversation at a recent one day capacity building workshop for media and Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, through its Natural Resource and Extractive Programme, in partnership with Natural Resource Governance Institute.
The hybrid workshop, themed, “Oil Dependency in Nigeria: Imagining a Future Beyond Oil”, had over 50 participants, including journalists from the extractive sector, CSOs, and social media influencers in attendance.
The workshop, according to the organisers, was geared towards improving the understanding of oil dependency and the nexus with energy transition to better communicate the impact on Nigeria and the Nigerian economy.
Senior Officer, NRGI, Ms. Tengi George-Ikoli, explained that Nigeria was at a critical point in its development, hence as a fossil fuel-dependent country, it is important that Nigeria develops its own strategy to engage the shifting global focus away from oil.
“Nigeria must develop its own medium to long term strategy to mitigate the likely export and government revenue losses from a shrinking market base as these countries look to reducing oil reliance beyond 2030.
“Nigeria must make strategic decisions in the way it spends its limited revenues, take economic diversification more seriously, leveraging regional and global opportunities beyond oil, and including new frontier possibilities available in the green economy”, she said.
Also, Deputy Director, Development Practice, CJID, Mr. Akintunde Babatunde, said as energy transition persists globally, Nigeria as a monolithic fossil fuel dependent economy has to prepare for what the shift to cleaner energy sources means for its economy.
“Data is pointing us to the fact that Nigeria will likely lose a majority of its foreign exchange earnings and revenues for both the federal and subnational government.
“In fact, it is already happening, because Nigeria is at a critical point in its development process, it is important for professionals to discuss the way forward on how the decisions we make as a country are more important now than ever”, he said.
Earlier, the Acting Executive Director at CJID, Tobi Oluwatola, harped on the need for capacity building for the media and CSOs, noting that they are in the best position to enlighten the public from an informed perspective.
“It is time for Civil Society Organisations, journalists, and policy experts to have this discussion, most especially as Nigeria plans to achieve net zero by 2060. There is a need for CSOs to be empowered with the right skills to be able to do the right advocacy and accountability work in Nigeria”, he stated.
Ex-Lawmaker Volunteers For Petroleum Sector Deregulation
An ex-lawmaker, Sen. Ben Murray Bruce, has announced that he is willing to serve as a volunteer in deregulating the country’s petroleum sector.
This follows the ex-lawmaker’s faulting of Nigeria losing over N5trilion annually as a result of fuel subsidy.
Bruce, who represented Bayelsa East Senatorial District in the 8th Senate, on his verified Twitter handle, decried what he described as ignorance and ineptitude of government agencies responsible for fuel subsidy.
“We cannot keep losing five trillion naira annually. I am able and willing, and I volunteer myself to lead the team to deregulate our petroleum sector.
“I will execute this flawlessly such that no Nigerian will be on the street protesting.
“The ineptitude and ignorance of the government agencies responsible for this are mind-boggling,” Bruce tweeted.
Nigeria To Construct Gas Pipeline To Europe Through Morocco
Nigeria has given the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) the greenlight to implement a deal on construction of a gas pipeline to Europe through Morocco.
This follows reports of surging demand for African energy supplies from the EU that is seeking to wean itself of dependence on Russian oil and gas.
“This gas pipeline is to take gas to 15 West African countries and to Europe and through Morocco to Spain and others,” said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.
“It is only after the engineering design of the pipeline has been made that we will know exactly (what) the cost of the pipeline will be. When that time comes, we will be talking about funding,” he added.
Nigeria is a member of the Opec group of major oil producers and has huge gas reserves – the largest proven reserves in Africa and the seventh largest globally.
On May 30, Tanzania transported 60,000 tonnes of coal to the Netherlands.
Last month, Botswana’s President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said European nations had “flooded” his country with requests to supply coal.
Marketers Bemoan Crash In LPG Demand Amid Rising Prices
Marketers in Liquefied Natural Gas (LPG), popularly known as cooking gas, across the country, have cried over a decline in the demand for the product.
The Tide’s findings reveal that buyers at gas stations, especially in Port Harcourt, were scanty, which could be an indication that consumers have either reduced consumption or ditched the commodity for cheaper alternatives such as charcoal and firewood.
Manager of Delta Gas in Port Harcourt, Mr Otelema Tamuno, in a chat with The Tide, noted that sales had been on the low for several weeks in this second quarter of this year.
According to him, “since April this year, we’ve been experiencing low sales. Some people will come with 12.5kg bottle and ask that you sell N3,000 worth of gas, whereas the full bottle is N8,000. It’s so discouraging, but there’s nothing we marketers can do. Gas is costly now and we can’t sell below our cost price”.
In a related development, President, Nigerian Gas Association, Mr. Ed Ubong, said during a downstream event in Lagos that national annual consumption was currently between 1.3mn and 1.5mn metric tons from the Federal Government’s annual target of 5mn metric tons.
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, NALPGAM, Mr. Bassey Essien, confirmed to newsmen that the drop in consumption rate was likely due to increasing prices.
According to him, price of 20 metric tons of cooking gas had been on the rise from N12mn to N12.8mn.
He said, “prices have been volatile for a while, and it’s because the purchasing power has dropped. Gas is no longer affordable, and buyers are either regulating use or found alternatives.
“As at today, a 20-metric-ton of gas sells for about N12.8mn. Price has hovered around 10mn-12mn before now. Just imagine what we bought last for N12mn rising by N800, 000 for one truck”.
A consumer in Port Harcourt, Mrs Irene Ndu, lamented the high costs of cooking gas and appealed that the Federal Government looked into it, saying “the Federal Government should intervene in this matter by formulating policies favourable to gas availability.
Findings have shown that about 60 percent of gas utilised in Nigeria was currently being imported by independent marketers, while the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) supplies just 40 percent.
Nigeria has been described as a gas country with approximately 207 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves, ranking 9th in the world and accounting for about 3 per cent of the world’s total natural gas reserves of 6,923 Tcf. Nigeria has proven reserves equivalent to 306.3 times its annual consumption.
Natural gas is estimated as the fastest growing fossil fuel in the world, and is projected to overtake coal by 2030, as the second largest source of energy.
The Federal Government said in April, that the value of Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of about 206.53 trillion cubic feet was over $803.4tn.
By: Tonye Nria-Dappa
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