Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, disclosed this at a meeting with the diplomatic community in Abuja. He said energy is the fundamental resource for national socio-economic development and must be always insured, emphasizing that gas is the sole major energy source that can aid in diversifying Nigeria’s economy. Given the increasingly significant contribution of energy to national security and economic growth, energy diplomacy has become an essential aspect of the country’s foreign cooperation.
For Nigeria, Natural gas is seen as the preferred driving factor for the country’s energy transition. Efforts have been made to tap into this vast potential in order to offer the energy for increased power generation, transportation, industrial feedstock and improved methods of clean cooking to sustain our growing population. The minister lamented Nigeria’s energy poverty despite the country’s vast oil, gas, and mining resources. For instance, the country has proven natural gas reserves of about 200 TCF, with a further 600 TCF in upside potential.
The government rolled out programs to revamp energy sector.
Sylva stated that the vast majority of Nigerians still lack access to stable electricity and clean cooking fuels and the goal is to drastically reduce this issue in the hopes of eventually eliminating energy poverty in the nation. With the National Gas Expansion Programme and the Autogas scheme in operation, the Nigerian government hopes to replace PMS with CNG and LPG and maximize the country’s gas resources. As a result, PMS usage will reduce, and CO2 emissions will be minimized.
Furtherly, the minister emphasized the profoundly positive effects of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 on Nigeria’s energy sector. Which has allowed for increased foreign investment, the creation of new jobs, the promotion of economic and energy diversification, and the repositioning of Nigeria to fulfil both its energy demands and also help support the growing international energy demand. Additionally, the Act incentivizes entrance into the midstream, particularly for investments in gas pipelines, which helps to promote gas production, distribution, penetration, and utilization.
Nigeria plans to accelerate energy transition with the NIES.
Despite the government’s attempts to achieve “The Decade of Gas” initiative, which aims to lay the groundwork towards a gas-powered economy by 2030 and harness the country’s vast gas potential, the missing piece is the lack of basic gas infrastructure to facilitate the goal. The country’s gas infrastructure deficit was a major contributor to poor gas output, gas flaring, and low domestic gas utilization. Over the next ten years, it is predicted that more than $20 billion in annual funding would be necessary to close these gaps.
The minister urged the international community to support Nigeria’s energy transition plans by partnering with and investing in the country’s energy sector to help maximize its resources and forge paths in energy security areas that benefit all parties involved, in line with global energy transition plans. Nigeria will continue to utilize the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) as an approach to expedite the international energy transition plan, as it is becoming a premier venue for presenting cutting-edge technical and technological developments in the energy industry.
Highlighting the significant impact of the NIES.
Mr Salaheddine Abbas Ibrahima, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and also the Cameroonian envoy to Nigeria, in his statement, highlighted the significance of the energy industry on a global scale. Emphasizing the fact that this kind of initiative had not taken place over the years. He reiterated that the NIES will continue as a worldwide event with participants from all around the globe, he then urged for continuing collaboration as the programmed date approaches.