……..by Ben Ndubuwa…..
The Secretary General, African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO), Dr Omar-Farouk Ibrahim, has said that today’s climate activism is driven more by the quest for energy security by the developed countries than by their concerns over environment.
He pointed out that this can be seen by the response of todays champions of energy transition to the use of fossil fuel in the current Russian-Ukrain war.
He therefore urged the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) to turn the challenges of energy transition to opportunities for the country. Ibrahim made the call at the opening session of the 16th annual conference of NAEE and International Association for Energy Economics.
The theme of the conference was, “Energy Evolution, Transition and Reform: Prospects for African economies.”
Ibrahim, who was the keynote speaker at the programme, called on NAEE to tap from APPO’s reform to turn around the association by commissioning a study on the future of oil and gas industry in the country.
He noted that APPO, in a study completed in 2021, identified four imminent challenges the energy transition posed to the oil and gas industry in Africa.
He listed the challenges as funding, technology expertise/skills, and market, noting that these challenges had been the preoccupation of APPO since its reforms.
However, the expert said APPO was responding to these imminent challenges in practical terms.
Ibrahim, however, urged NAEE to take a leave from that by converting energy transition challenges in Nigeria to opportunities.
“Going by the APPO credentials, I believe you have a big role to play in turning the challenges of energy transition to opportunities in Nigeria and indeed, in Africa.
“Regarding the funding challenge, APPO has gone into partnership with Afreximbank to set up the Africa Energy Bank (AEB); a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was signed in Luanda in May last year and negotiation on the establishment of charter.
“Preparations of the host country agreement as well as other documents have reached advanced stage. We hope to be able to present the final documents to the next ordinary session of our ministerial council for approval.
“The focus of the AEB shall be the provision of funds for oil and gas projects on the continent, in addition to other forms of energy, shareholding in the bank was open to all APPO members’ countries, national oil company and other investment institutions,” he said.
Mr Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission Chief Executive, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, commended NAEE for organising the programme.
Komolafe said that NAEE had continued to build professionals in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
He said that the programme had brought on the doggedness of the association in keeping to the objectives of the oil and gas sector as well as the advancement of professionals in the energy sector.
“In the last two centuries, the world has witnessed evolution of various energy resources, oil and gas is the most prominent of all these resources.
“I urged NAEE to leverage on these prominent resources for energy security for the betterment of the country,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Bello Gusau, the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), commended the general physical policies of the NAEE in the oil and gas industry.
Gusau was represented at the event by Mr Jide Adebulehin, General Manager, Strategic Planning and Documentation Department, PTDF.
He said that when NAEE approached the PTDF for partnership to host the programme, it had no option than to oblige because of the good work of the association in the oil and gas sector.
Gusau said: “If we are bringing on other resources in the energy sector, we must first develop human capital that will operate in such areas; there cannot be energy transition without human capital development.”
He said that the agency was getting prepared to know other programmes that would come up in the country drive for energy transition.
Gusau added that the agency would remain committed to human capital development in its drive for energy transition.