NEITI Backs Tinubu’s Climate Change, Green Economic Solutions

By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has aligned with the renewed political commitments of President Bola Tinubu towards strengthening Nigeria’s Climate Change, Energy Transition and Green Economic Solutions.

NEITI’s Deputy Director/Head Communications and Advocacy, Obiageli Onuorah in a statement on Thursday quoted the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, to have stated this while speaking in Abuja at a roundtable event organized by BudgIT Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO), on tracking energy transition costs and transparency in the budgeting.

Dr. Orji, explained that the recent constitution of a Presidential Committee on Climate Action and Green Economic Solutions and the appointment of focal persons with specific responsibilities of coordinating and overseeing all policies and programmes on climate action and green economic development were fundamental steps that signalled the country’s interests in the international debate on climate change, energy transition and Green economic solutions.

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He said, with the United Nations’ projection that Nigeria’s population will rise to 400 million in the next 20 years, an unprecedented increase in energy demand that will put so much pressure on energy financing for developing countries, including Nigeria, makes it important for the country to prepare adequately for this so as to minimize the associated risks while maximizing the potential opportunities that come with climate change and energy transition themselves.

According to him, “NEITI identified that deliberate investments in the solid minerals sector, gas infrastructure and commercialization, technology, research innovation, human capital development, transportation, food security, and use of low-carbon hydrogen as priority areas of focus in the country’s budgeting to respond to Energy Transition and climate change. These opportunities come at a cost that requires commitment to compute them in terms of human and material resources.”

Dr. Orji further reiterated the importance of Gas Commercialization as an important pathway for Nigeria to mitigate the risks and economic impacts of Climate Change and Energy Transition.

“NEITI’s recent report of the oil and gas industry disclosed a total unremitted revenue of gas royalty payments of $559.8 million and another unremitted sum of $828.8 million from unpaid gas flare penalties. A close look at these figures indicated that more gas was flared during the period than utilized, thereby posing serious dangers to the global zero emissions agenda,” Dr. Orji stated.

The Executive Secretary called for a review of the country’s gas commercialization policy to align with President Bola Tinubu’s positive renewed commitments to climate change and green economic solutions.

Dr. Orji further announced that NEITI, with the support of international development partners like Ford Foundation has commenced a research study on the impacts of energy transition on Nigeria’s economy. The study, he explained, is to identify specific impacts on revenues, jobs, livelihood, the environment, food security, gender, and control of emissions.

The Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Ishaq Salako, who was special guest at the Round Table event, explained that the federal government, through the Ministry of Environment, has initiated the National Climate Change Policy and Climate Change Act to provide comprehensive policy framework and roadmap for the country’s national climate action. Dr. Salako emphasized the importance of transparency in climate budgeting.

The Minister announced that a National Green Bond Program has been launched to pioneer the issuance of sovereign green bond in Africa to finance projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development.

“So far Nigeria has issued two sovereign green bonds, raising a total sum of N25.69 billion to finance 39 projects cutting across afforestation, renewable energy, transportation, agriculture and water resources. The process for the issuance of the third sovereign green bond is ongoing and has reached advance stage,” Dr Salako added.

The Minister further urged the civil society and non-governmental organizations to emulate the Budgit Foundation in building knowledge and understanding around climate change and green economic solutions, through engagement workshops.

In another development, the Executive Secretary of NEITI received in audience at NEITI House the President of the Geological Society of Nigeria (GSN), Mr. Malami Uba, who paid him a courtesy visit at the NEITI House.

Mr. Malami said he had followed with great interest the work of NEITI in leading reforms in the extractive industry and indicated the willingness of the Geological Society of Nigeria to partner and collaborate with NEITI to deepen interventions in the Solid Minerals sector. He explained that the role of Geologists in the sector is key not just in exploration but also in effective management of the environment.

In his remarks, the NEITI Executive Secretary welcomed the Society into NEITI’s stakeholder’s fold and requested collaboration in the areas of data reports and analysis, exchange of geosciences information, capacity building, as well as risk mitigation on mining environments. He gave the assurance that NEITI will remain open and accessible to the Geological Society of Nigeria as an important professional association in the NEITI process.




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