How Africa can be delivered from Energy Poverty – Minister


The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has advocated for African Energy Bank to address its peculiar Energy related crisis and take Africa out of the doldrums of Energy poverty in line with SDG.7

He said inclusive energy transition, the Decade of Gas initiative, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainability all provide a roadmap for action, and the  Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) need to be at the forefront of implementing it by applying scientific and technical knowledge and experience to turn innovative ideas into sustainable projects that benefit everyone

The minister who gave this year’s Annual Public Lecture themed:‘‘Inclusive Energy Transition: Key Issues, Investment Opportunities and Barriers Towards Achieving the Decades of Gas Initiative in Nigeria,’’ described the topic as apt.

 “It is so fittingly themed because Nigeria has already made strong commitments to embrace this transition, pledging to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, agreeing on a plan, and establishing the National Council on Climate Change (“NCCC”), which will have the power to make policies and decisions on all matters relating to climate change in Nigeria. This in addition to a commitment to attain net-zero by 2060.”

Nigeria, he said, is one of the world’s last energy frontiers, a nation brimming with enormous opportunities. As a nation, we are following a transition pathway that combines technology, investment, business strategies, and government policy that will enable Nigeria to transition from its current energy system to a low-carbon energy system with natural gas playing a pivotal role over the next generation, roughly between now and 2060.

“Natural gas is a key resource for a just energy transition and has all the credentials to support Nigeria meet up with her commitment with the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

According to him, last year, “Mr. President stated that when we declared 2020 as “The Year of Gas” in Nigeria, it was a bold statement to demonstrate this Administration’s resolve that gas development and utilization is a national priority. And so, in 2021, we went a step further to dedicate this decade, 2021 – 2030 to industrializing Nigeria using gas.”

“ The initiative at inauguration by Mr. President was themed “Towards a gas-powered economy by 2030” – to address challenges around the Nigeria power generation through gas power plants i.e., tackling the “power gap” and/or “energy poverty”

 Natural gas, he said, will play a critical and long-term role in achieving energy security and enhancing environmental outcomes for Nigerians as the global energy sector undergoes unprecedented change. Nigeria is well positioned to pioneer future natural gas technology and compete in global markets that are constantly changing. Nigeria has huge natural gas reserves and a highly skilled workforce.

  “But first, I want you to hear and remember this: Collaborative Partnership is the basis and foundation of the FG’s Decade of Gas development Initiative.”

  To make that happen, individual, corporate Nigeria and professional associations like The Nigerian Society of Engineers, as well as governments at all levels, must develop a new enlightenment, an energy literacy that includes a profound understanding that energy pervades all aspects of our lives and is a key component of our social fabric, one that is so influential and charged as a strong force of national unity.

 Speaking of technological innovation, engineering skills will be vital to achieve the aspirations of many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG7 that calls for “affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030.

 For me, achieving an inclusive energy transition whilst tackling key issues to attract investment opportunities with a view to achieving the Decades of Gas initiative alongside the SDGs will need integrated engineering solutions that provide resilient infrastructure, sustainable energy, and access to the latest innovative technologies.

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