NEITI cautions Nigeria against hasty energy transition

The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has warned against hasty energy transition.

Its Executive Secretary, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, who gave the warning at the National Dialogue on Energy Transition in Abuja, said the watchdog has inaugurated a study on the implications of the transition.

Warning against hasty exit from fossil fuels, he said: “Nigeria must not be allowed to be rushed into hasty energy transition without a thorough analysis of its comparative advantage and implications on our resources, economy and livelihoods of her citizens.”

On the study, Orji noted: “I am pleased to inform you that NEITI, working with international Secretariat of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), has commissioned a study to examine the actual implications and impacts of energy transition on the Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in particular and her economy.

” The report of this study will soon be published and will be widely disseminated to all the stakeholders present at this dialogue.”

He insisted that as an agency with mandate to promote transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors, with a multi-stakeholder platform for dialogue on natural resources, NEITI has legitimate roles to play in shaping public debate and government policy on energy transition.

He said the organisation has commenced working with its partners to help citizens and stakeholders gain full insights on the risks and opportunities that are associated with the transition.

He reiterated: “As the world transits from the use of fossil fuel to cleaner and sustainable energy, transparency and accountability is critical to the process, including the reporting of emissions, disclosure of climate risks and governance of the energy industry. Nigeria must prepare to mainstream transparency and accountability mechanism into her energy transition agenda to avoid the pitfalls of her past and present energy sector.”

Orji said, similarly, NEITI believes that Nigeria’s energy transition journey must be driven and strictly guided by credible information and data on the country’s energy security and, most importantly, its strategic national interest.

He said for the dialogue, NEITI has selected energy sector experts to examine issues such as Just and Inclusive Energy Transition for Nigeria. Role of gas in Nigeria’s Transition; Funding and financing the transition; and Diversification of Nigeria’s Economy.

The dialogue, according to him, will also feature presentations on Global Perspectives to Energy Transition and Nigeria’s response. The outcome of this dialogue is expected to feed into the country’s transition plan and its implementation, he said.

Orji noted that the event was the first ever multi-stakeholders National Dialogue on Energy Transition (NDE) in Nigeria.

The NEITI boss said the dialogue is co-hosted by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI); the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI), and BudgIT Foundation, an indigenous advocacy organization.

He noted that the program is designed to provide a multi-stakeholder platform for state and non-state actors to discuss, debate, engage and make meaningful contributions to the ongoing discourse on the transition from dirty energy sources such as: oil, gas and coal to cleaner, renewable and sustainable energy sources.

He said the dialogue is expected to help galvanize the needed national consensus on the Nigeria’s pathways to energy transition, and increase public awareness on the risks, challenges and opportunities that are associated with the energy transition, including its implications on Nigeria’s economy, her citizens and their livelihoods.

Orji said in response to the global call for action on climate change and energy transition, the Nigeria’s government, led by the office of the Vice President working in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Environment (FMoE) developed Energy Transition Plan (ETP) for our country in 2021.

According to him, the Plan was thereafter approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in February 2022 and presented to the Inter-ministerial Committee on Climate Change.

He added that therefore, the dialogue is expected to stimulate public debate/engagement on the Plan.


This, he said, is with a view to ensuring that its implementation is robust, equitable and responsive to the present and future needs of Nigerians.

The Executive Secretary said “being an oil and gas dependent country, Nigeria is highly vulnerable and exposed to the risks and challenges of energy transition.

” The global energy transition agenda is already reshaping the oil and gas landscape. Just recently, during the last United Nations Climate Conference, COP26 in Glasgow, twenty-six (26) countries and some public finance institutions announced their commitment to ending finance for overseas fossil fuel energy projects by the end of year 2022.

“The countries, which include the U.S., the EU, UK, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, and Canada, noted that the action was informed by the mission to align their international public support towards the clean energy transition and out of unabated fossil fuels that is consistent with the 1.5°C warming limit and goals of the Paris Agreement. Consequently, oil and gas companies are now channeling their investments into alternative energy sources.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPL) noted that Africans have to access to the huge capital required for energy transition.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Malam Mele Kyari said the paucity of fund is accountable for Nigeria’s target of 2060 for exiting the fossil fuels instead of the global target of 2030.

The representative from the Mining Cadastral Office, Mr. Mustapha Yusuf revealed that there is now a demand for mineral resources for the development of the alternatives to fossil fuels.

He however said that the minister has insisted that companies must come to process the minerals in Nigeria instead of exporting the raw ones without adding value.

He also lamented that most of the places that were allocated for mining have already been leased for oil and gas.

He insisted that there must be a synergy between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Mining Cadastral Office, which is under the Ministry of Mines and Steel to be able to produce the minerals.

In her remarks, Natural Resource Governance Institute, West Africa Regional Manager (Anglophone), Ms. Nafi Chinery, Africa, said

Nigeria’s emphasis on gas as a transition fuel aligns with the thinking of most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and the African Union Commission in the run up to COP27.

According to her, the risks associated with the commissioning of new infrastructure for gas production needs to be sustainably accounted for within the context of funding for infrastructure and the opportunity cost of the tax revenue.

He said a cursory reading of the highlights of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan shows a focus on renewable energy, which we expect to be aligned with the decarbonization commitments as the country centres gas as a transition fuel.

Chinery said “crucially, the transition will not be just if it is not people centred, with a need to safeguard the rights of people likely to be impacted.

His excellency, the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo was apt when he indicated at the global virtual launch of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan in August that, the need to address Africa’s energy gaps in dealing with the impact of climate change requires “collaboration to take ownership of the Continent’s transition pathways”.

she insisted that ‘This action, I submit must be decisive as it is coherent for all African countries, and Nigeria taking the lead is refreshing. Among other things, Nigeria is currently

expected to continue this leadership role in promoting a fair, inclusive, and equitable energy transition in Africa, which based on current geopolitical developments will significantly involve the optimal use of gas as a transition fuel. “

<<The Nation>>