Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has said that natural gas will play a central role in achieving energy security while enhancing environmental outcomes for Nigerians, as the global energy sector undergo unprecedented change.
The Minister made the remark at the 22nd Annual Public Lecture of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Bwari branch.
Speaking at the event which held recently in Abuja, Sylva stated, that the theme of the lecture; “Inclusive Energy Transition: Key Issues, Investment Opportunities and Barriers Towards Achieving the Decades of Gas Initiative in Nigeria”, was aptly coined given that Nigeria had made strong commitments to embrace this transition, pledged to significantly reduce her greenhouse emissions under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, agreeing on a plan, and established the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), which will be empowered to make policies and decisions on all matters relating to climate change in Nigeria.
The Minister informed that natural gas was a key resource for a just energy transition and possess all the requirements to ensure Nigeria meet up with her United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. He told the gathering that, with her huge natural gas reserves and a highly skilled workforce, Nigeria was well positioned to pioneer future natural gas technology and compete in global markets that are constantly changing.
Sylva assured of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources’ readiness to collaborate with the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) on the Ministry’s decade of gas journey. “I believe the NSE has a fundamental role to play in meeting underlying human needs, reducing poverty, rebuilding infrastructure, bridging the knowledge divide, and encouraging intercultural collaboration”, he stated.
The growth of Nigeria’s gas reserves, according to the Minister, is a critical lever to achieving the federal government’s Decade of Gas Initiative, which aims at transforming Nigeria into a gas powered economy by 2030.
The Minister sued for a partnership with the NSE in dealing with the energy poverty in Nigeria. “We must find a way to unlock the natural gas potentials of Nigeria and drag millions of our people out of energy poverty”, he posited.
Sylva averred that, Nigeria’s approximately 206.53 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas valued at over US$803.4 trillion and potential upside of 600TCF of gas, ranked as the most extensive in Africa, and in the top 10 globally. He added that, “luckily for Nigeria, the European Union has proposed labeling natural gas as a “green energy” source, a development that could translate into huge economic value for Nigeria”.
In his remarks at the lecture, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, described Engineering as very critical to a vast facet of our national life. Akpabio who was represented by Engr. Azeez Oyeniyi of the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, stated that there was hardly an aspect of life that does not need some degree of input from Engineering as it occupies a critical role in national development.
Akpabio stated that the 2022 lecture’s focus on the gas sector demonstrated that NSE understood the time and it’s determination to contribute to national economic growth.
Enefaa Bob-Manuel (Mrs.)