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Over 30 organisations seek leeway to Nigeria’s energy transition plan

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
16 November 2022   |   4:06 am
Stakeholders across the energy sector in Nigeria are calling for an urgent rejig that will make Nigeria’s $1.9 trillion energy transition plan a reality.

[FILES] Solar…a key source of renewable energy

Stakeholders across the energy sector in Nigeria are calling for an urgent rejig that will make Nigeria’s $1.9 trillion energy transition plan a reality.

With growing tension for the global community to use more sustainable energy sources, Nigeria had launched a plan, targeting to by 2060, achieve energy transition.

While the plan was described as a prime example of the needed evolution of policies to deliver both the growth in energy consumption necessary for development and the climate response required for the preservation of our planet, the document aimed at tackling the dual crises of energy poverty and climate change, and deliver universal energy access (SDG7) by 2030 and net-zero by 2060.

Stakeholders, who gathered in Abuja to discuss the feasibility of the energy transition plan, insisted that there was a need to translate the plan into an implementable action plan that is aligned with the National Development Plan and Medium-Term Expenditure Framework MTEF and is consultative and inclusive.

Some of the organisations include Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), BudgIT Foundation, African Climate Foundation, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Nigeria Mining Cadastral Office, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Rural Electrification Agency, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre.

They noted that the country needed to operationalise the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as it includes provisions that facilitate the use of gas as a transition fuel and decarbonisation.

“The federal government should be explicit on the delivery mechanism of the energy transition and how the green economy will translate to job creation for Nigerians,” the stakeholders said in a communiqué made available to The Guardian.

According to them, transparency, accountability, and stakeholder engagement should be mainstreamed into the Nigeria energy transition plan with a strong monitoring and evaluation framework.

The experts equally noted that the plan must be driven by a roadmap to define the modalities for funding and identify the risks and opportunities of the transition process, while citizens’ ownership and awareness of the energy transition process remained key.

While calling for a public education strategy in achieving the plan, they stated that greater attention should be paid to the solid mineral sector as it holds potential for the Nigeria energy transition plan because of the availability of strategic energy minerals such as lithium, cobalt, etc., in Nigeria.

“A framework to resolve the legacy conflict issues around solid minerals, particularly in the North East should be adopted to ensure that the ramp-up of the energy transition does not create further social upheaval.

“The energy transition should avoid replicating the errors from the fossil fuel industry. Host communities and environmental concerns must be taken seriously and incorporated into the energy transition plan and implementation.

“A just transition should ensure the remediation of the degraded environment by divesting companies such as oil spillage,” part of the communiqué noted.

The organisations insisted on the need for policy consistency to attract investment from key actors in the energy sector, stressing that an overhaul of Nigeria’s security architecture was necessary to create an enabling business environment and secure robust investment in the gas and other critical sectors in Nigeria.

They advised the government to provide an extensive strategy on how the nation’s economy would be managed during the transition process in light of the projected diminished fossil fuel revenues as trade partners transition and companies divest.

They noted that financial instruments negotiated and accepted to fund the transition plan should align with Nigeria’s development goals and benefit future generations.