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‘Nigeria building alliance to stop defunding of oil projects’

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•FG insists PIA, gas-based economy critical

Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the country is forming a coalition with other affected countries in order to stop attempted moves to halt funding of fossil fuel.

Mounting pressure towards zero-emission has been drying up investment for fossil fuels related projects, a development that would drastically affect oil dependent economies like Nigeria.

Osinbajo, who disclosed this at a virtual event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sahara (Energy) Group noted that while the wealthier nations and their institutions have banned all public investments in certain fossil projects, including natural gas, the move may drastically affect developing economies.

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Stating that most developed countries are no longer funding oil exploration, Osinbajo said: “The World Bank and other multilateral development banks are being urged by their shareholders to do the same. The AfDB is increasingly unable to support large natural gas projects in the face of shareholder pressure from their European members. Barely two weeks ago, the UN Secretary-General made a strong call, that ‘Countries should end all new fossil fuel exploration and production, and shift fossil fuel subsidies into renewable energy.

“I will urge indigenous energy companies to join in the urgent advocacy that is required to prevent the disaster that would result from defunding oil and gas projects.”

He disclosed that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, as well as Nigeria’s gas initiatives would transform the country into a gas-based industrialised nation.

Osinbajo, who equally believes in a better-managed petroleum industry through the legislation, said the gas initiatives of the Federal Government include the drive to encourage investments in gas production and optimize the nation’s enormous gas potential.

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“Locally, we launch into the brave new world for the oil and gas industry with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021. And this happily converges with the launch of the Year 2020 to 2030 as the ‘Decade of Gas Development for Nigeria’. This is a follow-up to the highly successful initiative of the Year 2020 as the Year of Gas.

“The main goal of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the gas initiatives aforementioned is to transform Nigeria not only into a gas-based industrialized nation through enhanced accelerated gas revolution, but also to help create a better-managed petroleum industry where both the people of Nigeria and investors alike can extract value,” he stated.

He noted that the efforts of the indigenous oil companies remained laudable, stressing that there are visible impacts of Nigerian companies in the oil segment of the nation’s energy industry.

“Nigerian companies have shown capacity in operations and financing of oil and gas assets. Within this group of patriotic local investors, Sahara has consistently blazed the trail as industry leaders in not just the Petroleum sector, but in the Power sector as well,” he added.

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