From Uche Usim, Abuja
As talks about energy transition deepens, the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics/International Association for Energy Economics and the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO) have canvassed for Africa to come up with its own strategy, rather than succumbing to the schemings of the developed world.
The two bodies said Africa has the wherewithal to solve its energy insufficiency nightmare, even as they called for deeper intra-Africa collaboration.
They made the suggestion at the 16th NAEE/IAEE annual conference themed: Energy Evolution, Transition and Reform: Prospects for African Economies held in Abuja on Monday.
In his remarks at the event, the Secretary General of APPO, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, pushed for the creation of the African Energy Bank (AEB) that would galvanise funds for oil and gas projects and other cleaner sources of energy.
He said one country (which he did not disclose, has expressed interest in hosting the headquarters of the AEB.
He said it was quite unfortunate that International Oil Companies (IOCs) are reluctant to invest in Africa, “not because they do not believe that it makes economic sense to do so, or that they honestly believe that they owe
humanity a duty to protect the planet earth, but rather because they are afraid of the consequences of their actions from their home governments, their shareholders and the powerful climate lobby.”
He added that the current insufficient power challenge African are confronted with was due to what he described as “fallacies” stressing the need for African governments to merge resources with the sole aim of raising the needed funds to operate the oil and gas industry .
The APPO SG noted that although climate change poses existential threat to the world,measures and policies introduced to check climate change should not be uniformly imposed on all societies without regard to their special circumstances, like their levels of socio-economic development and energy poverty.
In his explanation, he posited that today’s climate activism is driven more by the quest for energy security by the developed countries rather than concerns about the environment.
“A very good demonstration of this reality is the response of today’s champions of energy transition to the use of fossil fuels in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war.
“The very people that announced an end to
funding oil and gas projects especially in Africa, ostensibly because they are considered dirty fuels and dangerous to humanity, sent high powered
delegations to our countries offering to fund oil and gas projects that for decades were begging for investors. Of course, the condition was that the oil
and gas should go to the investors.
“In other words, Africa is encouraged to
produce oil and gas only if they are meant for export to developed countries to ameliorate their special circumstances due to the war, but the production of that same oil and gas is dangerous to humanity if it is meant to be burnt in Africa,” he added.
He argued that oil and gas are harmful today because they are foreign controlled, noting that countries that have used fossil fuels to
grow their economies, have largely succeeded in moving their economies from relying on industrial manufacturing for their wealth creation, to
reliance on services.
Also speaking, the President, Nigerian Association for Energy Economies, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe in her welcome address, said energy transition is a significant change, aimed at rectifying past damages to the environment.
She, however, stated that Nigeria has no alternative to transition as it lacks adequate energy to power industrial evolution needed to put the country on the path of true economic and sustainable development.
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