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On Nigeria’s move to decarbonise logistics sector

By Adaku Onyenucheya
26 October 2022   |   2:43 am
There are worries over the rising level of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport ecosystem with its devastating effect on climate change.

Participants at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Nigeria 2022 conference and yearly general meeting held in Lagos.

There are worries over the rising level of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport ecosystem with its devastating effect on climate change.

According to experts, a whole lot of countries, including Nigeria, are still struggling with managing carbon blueprints resulting from transport and logistics-related activities.

They also noted that transport and logistics activities ranked higher among the largest contributing factors to greenhouse gas emission, which threatens the health of millions of humans and the environment worldwide.

This necessitated calls to transit to renewable and green energy as well as technological innovations to reduce carbon footprints, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change at the just concluded Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Nigeria 2022 Conference and yearly general meeting held in Lagos with the theme: “Sustainable Innovations in Global Logistics and Transport.”

The Group Managing Director, Organisational Development & Management Experts Consulting (ODMEC), Abuja, Anthonia Ekpa, said transport sector emissions have grown faster than those of other sectors over the past 50 years and emits around 23 per cent of the energy-related CO2 that boosts global warming.

Ekpa said the transport sector currently produces 14 per cent of total anthropogenic GHG emissions, adding that emission levels are expected to reach 40 per cent by 2030and 60 per cent by 2050, generated primarily from fossil fuels burned for road, rail, air and marine transportation.

According to her, nearly three-quarters of the total transport GHG emissions stems from road transport, followed by aviation (13.9 per cent), maritime transport (13.3per cent) with railways and other transport modes (inland waterway transport, pipelines) amounting to one per cent.

She said also that given transport’s reliance on oil for 92 per cent of its energy, it has been difficult to effectively decarbonise the respective modes.

Ekpa said the European Union (EU), in its decarbonisation efforts, set several targets with the overarching objective being the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 per cent by 2050.

She added, while entities involved in decarbonisation should first identify the main sources of CO2 emissions for transportation activities and make efforts to address them, it requires a coordinated technological and social move away from technology that burns fossil fuels.

Ekpa further called on sector leaders to note that decarbonisation offers an opportunity for stakeholders’ coalition and evidence–sharing for the collation of best practices that will fast-track the transition to carbon-neutral mobility.

The Chief Executive Officer of Genero Engineering, Captain Suleiman Baiyee, while making his presentation on “De-Carbonisation in Transport,” advised that Nigeria should explore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as the country lacks the infrastructural enablement for renewable energy.

“The biggest resource of renewable energy we have is gas. LNG has been identified as the transition fuel for us to move to any other resource,” he said.

Baiyee, who is a mariner, said Nigeria’s carbon emission is less than one per cent, hence, stakeholders should focus on the opportunities it can leverage with the low statistics.

He said Nigeria is at the lower end of everything when it comes to greenhouse gasses, noting that LNG will give zero-emission, hence the need to develop internally.

Also, the Dean, of the School of Transport, Lagos State University, Prof. Charles Asenime, noted that the cost of acquiring renewable energy in Nigeria is exorbitant.

“How many people can afford solar energy? It is expensive to start. The best alternative is LNG. We can leverage gas as an alternative. What we should be doing is finding solutions to our own local problems, we don’t expect the West to give us their solution,” Asenime said.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said the world is going green, thereby, engendering innovations to reduce the heavy dependence on fossil fuels, which is the cause of high levels of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, reduced freight logistics turnaround time and noise pollution.

Sambo, who was represented by Deputy Director, Research and Statistics, Ministry of Transportation, Ibrahim Muhammed Biu, said there have been numerous innovations geared towards converting freight vehicles to use sustainable fuels as well as employing advanced information and communication technologies for more efficient logistics.

He said a lot still needs to be done to develop the logistics and transport industry while calling on transport researchers and regulators to collaborate and mine innovative strategies that would help in sustaining and developing the sector

The minister revealed that the Federal Government is making concerted efforts to establish critical infrastructure to ensure sustainable transport and logistics.

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Dr. Bayero Salih-Farah, said stakeholders must work towards making global logistics and transport not only smart and timeless, but also environmentally friendly, economically viable, and cost-effective in terms of planning, management and operations in the nearest future.

Salih-Farah, who was represented by the Director of Transport Research at NITT, Joshua Odeleye, said many nations, including Nigeria, are still struggling with managing carbon blueprint resulting from transport and logistics-related activities.

The NITT boss said many experts are overwhelmingly united on the view that transport and logistics activities ranked higher amongst the largest contributing factors to greenhouse gas emissions, which threatens the health of millions of humans and the environment world-wide.

He said the country must also commit to investing in new technologies that reduce emissions as well as priority funding of a National Transport Data Ecosystem for real-time transport data sharing and integration among stakeholders in the Industry, primarily for monitoring and performance evaluation of all modes.

On their part towards committing to the global net zero journeys, Dangote Group said it has deployed the use of fuel blending, which includes, the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Automated Gas Oil (AGO) also known as diesel for cost-effective and pollution free haulage business.

The Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, who was represented by the Director of Logistics and Transport, Dangote Cement, Mr Michael Kehinde, announced that the company has equally incorporated the same fuel blending strategy, in terms of its truck acquisition, to improve turnaround time.