Nigeria Is World’s Poorest Energy Nation – Minister of Petroleum

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…says only 13% Nigerians have access to clean cooking gas

By Linda Violet Musa

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,  Chief Timipre Sylva, has revealed that Nigeria is the number one poverty among nations blessed with natural energy , owing to the fact that only about 55% of over 200 million people in the country  have access to electricity, while only 13% have access to clean cooking gas.

The former Governor of Bayelsa State who spoke at the 2022 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (OLEF) of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) on Thursday in Abuja, called for increased efforts to ensure energy security, and end the ravaging energy poverty in the country.

While noting the need to mitigate the glaring risks of climate change which has become a global reality, he however said the transition must not come at the expense of affordable and reliable energy for people, cities, and industries, adding, that the only viable option currently on the table was oil and natural gas, combined with appropriate technology to make them cleaner. 

He argued that Nigeria has very low levels of carbon emissions — 0.61t CO2e per capita (2020) when compares to 14.24t CO2e per capita in the USA and 4.85t CO2e per capita in the UK, therefore,  should normally reduce the pressure on Nigeria to quickly decarbonize its economy. 

He said: “Rightly, the Federal Government has declared Natural Gas as the transition fuel for the country. Thus, the declaration of 2021-2030 as Nigeria’s decade of gas, to provide us the appropriate linkage with the energy transition. 

“Natural gas ticks all the boxes as the vehicle to help government achieve the aspiration and vision to drive infrastructure and industrial development of the country in order to prosper her citizens. 

“We have embarked on a critical pathway to ensuring that the over 200 Trillion Standard Cubic Feet (TSCF) proven reserves of Natural gas in Nigeria is marshalled to engender domestic economic growth and development beyond 2030. 

“In this regard, the Ministry has launched the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) to expand Nigeria’s Domestic utilization as part of the National Gas Policy; the National Gas Flare Commercialization Programme; as well as specific provisions in the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 that elevates LPG as the fuel of choice compared to other competing fuels. 

“With this programme, we have established a 20 million Cylinder Injection Scheme; 5-10 million of these are to be introduced in pilot states this year. We have also established an LPG Energy Fund in the order of $50 million, in its first phase, in partnership with AFREXIMBANK,” 

“LPG is set to be part of the destination as it is being used as a precursor for green hydrogen with zero emission. An eventual move to bio-LPG will allow us to keep existing infrastructure in place, capitalize on already existing supply and distribution chains and reach net-zero at far lower cost. 

“That notwithstanding, Nigeria still aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 through anti-gas flaring regulations and working closely with oil and gas companies. 

“While we will not wish away our vast hydrocarbon resources, let us remind ourselves that the energy transition is real. That is the direction the industry is moving globally and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. 

“Adequate financial resources, technology development and 

effective policies designed to encourage investments in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, are required to enable us meet our increasing demand for energy.”

Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Gusau said, capacity building would be at the front-burner when it comes to discussions of energy transition in the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry. 

He said,  “the Fund under Section I of the PTDF Act has the power to dedicate, develop, promote and implement petroleum technology and manpower development through research and training of Nigerians in relevant Oil & Gas fields and we have done so for the past 20 years. We extend an open invitation to anyone who wishes to partner with PTDF in this regard.

“PTDF is always very proud to be associated with the efforts of the Society of Petroleum Engineers in bringing together all stakeholders in the energy industry to discuss and address topical issues in the industry. 

“We have also undertaken to support and host, continuously, this event and all monthly technical sessions of the SPE Abuja Section and have done so for many years without any hitch. Also, we would like to assure you of PTDF’s unalloyed commitment to continue to support the activities of SPE going forward.”

End.

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