Nigeria has the largest gas reserves in Africa and 9th largest in the world.
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), has expressed optimism that gas will play a major role in Nigeria’s transition to cleaner energy sources.
This is even as it stressed the need for technology, innovation, exploration, production, and commercialization of gas to enable the country to meet the net zero target set for the year 2060.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, stated this while speaking as a special guest at the 2nd German-Nigeria Symposium on Green Hydrogen held in Abuja, also posited that with its gas reserve at 200 trillion cubic feet, Nigeria can use natural gas as its transition fuel.
“Nigeria has identified natural gas as its transition fuel. At over 200 trillion cubic feet, Nigeria has the largest gas reserves in Africa and the 9th largest in the world. And with increasing new gas discoveries on the way from ongoing frontier explorations across the country.
“NEITI believes that gas will play a very important role in the energy transition discuss. As you know, gas has the potential to produce blue hydrogen, which, though not as clean as green hydrogen, would be useful in our journey towards cleaner energy sources.”
The NEITI boss however, bemoaned the rate of gas flaring, the increasing environmental pollution in the country as well as unremitted revenue loss and huge sums of unpaid gas flare penalty, citing NEITI’s recent oil and gas report which disclosed unremitted revenues of over & $8.2 billion which arose from liabilities of government agencies and oil/gas companies.
“At a time, when gas is fast surpassing crude oil in revenue generation for resource-rich countries, the rate of gas flaring with huge negative consequences on the environmental pollution is on the increase in Nigeria.
“A breakdown of the unremitted payments in the report showed outstanding gas royalty payments of $ 559.8 million and another unremitted sum of $828.8 million from unpaid gas flare penalty confirming that more gas was flared in the country during the period than utilized. The situation poses serious dangers to the global zero emissions agenda apart from huge revenue loss to the country.”
Orji further explained that the upsurge in gas flaring and its consequent revenue loss to the country informed NEITI’s interest in supporting and encouraging the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to fast-track the Commission’s ongoing gas utilization and commercialization project.
Citing the United Nations’ projection of Nigeria’s population rise to over 260million in 2030 and over 400million in the year 2050, Orji reiterated the urgent need for deliberate investments in technology, innovation, exploration, production, and commercialization of gas for Nigeria to meet the net zero target set at the year 2060.
On commitments to achieving a net zero emission by 2060, Dr. Orji advised that the Country’s net zero pledge include policies that will help control greenhouse gases produced in Nigeria, major reforms in energy production and utilization, concerns for energy security, jobs, livelihoods, the economy, and robust citizen’s engagement, as well as deliberate investments in the expansion of gas infrastructure.
He equally reaffirmed NEITI’s commitment to supporting the country’s transition programme with crucial facts, reliable information, and data to guide its successful implementation and commended the objectives of the Symposium.
Earlier, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs. Annett Gunther, explained that the Symposium was convened by Germany as a product of discussions with the Nigerian government by the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz when he visited Nigeria recently, as part of her country’s commitment to support Nigeria’s carbon emission reduction and diversification of her energy resources.
Also at the Symposium, the Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Kunle Salako, welcomed the expansion of Nigerian-German Cooperation in the areas of energy security, diversification, and environmental safety and pledged the Country’s readiness to build on the opportunities that the German Nigeria Symposium on Green Hydrogen will provide.
The Minister urged the Conference to come up with far-reaching recommendations that will help shape Nigeria’s Energy Transition agenda.