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‘Lack of energy, infrastructure may fuel migration in Nigeria’

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
17 November 2021   |   1:30 am
There are indications that migration, especially to Europe and America may continue in Nigeria due to the growing energy and infrastructure crisis.

Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Energy Plc, Roger Brown

There are indications that migration, especially to Europe and America may continue in Nigeria due to the growing energy and infrastructure crisis.

While the country’s population is expected to hit about 400 million a few years from now, Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Energy Plc, Roger Brown, said the development if not addressed with improvement in energy access could fuel migration.

Brown said while most developed countries currently have gas grid bases forming a strong pedestal for renewables, reverse is the development in Nigeria where the grid base is diesel power.

Speaking at the Africa Oil Week (AOW) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Brown said: “To transit to renewables, you need a grid base that works. So, our Decade of Gas mantra in Nigeria is aimed at providing the right grid base for that transition and Seplat Energy is well aligned to that.

“If you do not have the right grid base and want to go the way of renewables, you could end up going off-grid with small scale solar panels all around. It is important for the world to understand the peculiarities of Nigeria and that the country needs the right base to transit to renewables.”

According to him, Nigeria must have energy, which is right for its population.

“There are over 200 million people today and by 2050, there will probably be over 400 million Nigerians on this planet, which makes it the third most populous place in the world. For the 400 million people expected, we need to provide the right infrastructure. If you don’t, you are going to have a population migration as the average age in the country today is 18,” he said.

While noting efforts being made by companies, especially in the gas segment, Brown said: “Nigeria has been described as a rich oil producing country, but there is more gas. The federal government has identified this and has put forward the Decade of Gas narrative. The gas profile would last longer than that of oil as gas could be produced for a much longer period, and is an efficient fuel.

“The benefit of gas is very clear: it is a carbon-reducing energy source today. Currently, Nigeria’s electricity source is predominantly off-grid diesel. Gas-fired power displaces the diesel option and has CO2 emission reduction of 30 to 50 per cent depending on the technology deployed. So, for every molecule of gas we put into the market, we displace carbon. By displacing diesel-fired power, we are actively reducing carbon. But for Seplat Energy, this carbon reduction has to be proven.”