Nigerian, Ghanaian Govts Oppose Calls To Abandon Fossil Fuel

As energy experts from across the world converge on Abuja to brainstorm on energy security, transition, and finance aspirations of the industry, the Federal Government of Nigeria and its Ghanaian counterpart have declared that the countries would not abandon the use of fossil fuel to industrialise.

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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Nigeria, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, and the Minister of Energy, Ghana, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh disclosed the governments’ positions at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

With regards to carbon dioxide emissions and the persistent call from the West for energy transition, Lokpobiri noted that Nigeria was not the problem but the victim, consequently, will not stop the use of fossil fuel.

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The minister who harped on the need to get the right investments if energy security must be guaranteed, said the country would transit at its own pace.

“Everybody is talking about abandoning fossil fuel. America is the largest producer of oil they are. ramping up production, increasing investment but they are asking us to stop. The West is not going down in exploration but we are being asked to slow down or stop investment in fossil fuel. We are not the problem, we are the victim. We will transit at our own pace.

“Our target is to explore these resources in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way. We’re not stopping. We need the money to be able to transit and for us to transit, we must get the right investments, and for investment to be made, we need finance and the finances will not come unless we come up with some ingenious ways of raising our finances and that is why at the APO level we have come up with the idea of the Africa Energy Bank.”

Lokpobiri also advocated the establishment of an Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) bank, regretted that in the last five years, Nigeria has slowed down investments and was currently the lowest globally.

“The only way we can be held back in optimising the potential in the oil and gas industry is our Inability to access finance. If we have access to finance we will invest the way other countries are investing

“In the last five years we have slowed down in investment right now we are the lowest in the world. There must be something we are not doing that we must start doing.

“We.need an OPEC bank. Most of the OPEC members have very deep pockets so that whereas the West is not willing to fund investment in Africa and the Middle East, let us get our own money bank that can afford our own investment.”

Corroborating the Nigerian Minister, the Ghanaian Minister, Dr. Prempeh urged African governments to support the soon-to-be-launched African Energy Bank, a bank dedicated to promoting the infrastructure development of African resources, if not, the continent would continue to be a puppet of the West.

“So the priority must be for every oil or non-oil producing country in Africa to invest in the African energy bank”, he added.

Minister of Energy, Ghana, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh

On his part, the Secretary-General, African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim said, the solutions to the climate challenge being pushed forward by the developed countries are not the best for Africa, therefore, urged African academics, intellectuals, and thought leaders to put on their thinking caps and to see the imperative of a new paradigm shift in the search for solutions to the climate challenge.

Dr. Ibrahim said, the Association was working in collaboration with the Management of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to launch the African Energy Bank for the financial needs of the energy sector in Africa.

He disclosed that seven countries, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Benin Republic, and Cote d’Ivoire are in the race for where the bank will be located, adding that the bank will take off on or before 30th of June 2024.

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