Nigeria to achieve Carbon- Neutrality by 2025

By Joseph BAMIDELE

LONDON: Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has appealed to the Global Community and the developed World to invest in the development of the burgeoning African energy economy so as to ensure a win-win scenario for the continent and the rest of the globe.

Speaking at a Special lecture titled: The Future of African Energy in a Changing World, delivered at St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, over the weekend, the Minister stated that unlike in the past when Africa was a ready example of a pitiable basket case, the continent has emerged a potent destination for investments in oil and gas.

Mrs. Diezani Alison MaduekeCelebrating the rising profile of African energy in the global energy matrix, Mrs. Alison-Madueke stated that the recent flurry of offshore and onshore oil and gas discoveries across the continent has placed Africa on the front burner of the global energy map.

The Petroleum Minister argued that while it may make economic and geo-strategic sense for a nation to meet its energy needs from domestic sources instead of imports, it may not make so much sense from the perspective of the broad-based global development necessary to ensure the global stability.

“We believe that global stability comes from the balancing of regional interests.

To achieve optimal development for the African energy sector, the support and partnership of the industrialized world is critical. This would not only be in the interest of Africa, but also in the enlightened self-interest of the global community as a whole. We see a win-win outcome when industrialized nations source their energy needs from African nations.’’

She added that this would enable the wealthy nations satisfy their energy needs while at the same time generating for Africa, the vital export revenue that will make the continent less dependent on foreign developmental aid.

“ Investing in Africa’s growth opportunities is undeniably a much better model for providing long-term solutions to Africa’s developmental challenges than the grant of charitable aid,’’ She said.

Establishing a strong correlation between Africa’s development and drive to attaining global security, the Minister noted that the economic stability of Africa is a key factor in global security.

She argued that when Africa is ravaged by socio-economic instability, the rest of the world is less safe stating that no nation of the world, no matter how far away from Africa, is genuinely at peace with itself because the reality of our globalized world is that no nation is too far way to be impacted by upheavals in other regions of the world.

 The Minister emphasized that the more Africa’s economy develops and African States earn export revenue that will lift their people from poverty, disease, illiteracy and other socio-economic depredations that have held Africa back, the less likely that Africa will provide the breeding ground for terrorism and other forms of violent civil unrest.

 The Minister listed the investment opportunities on offer in the continent to include: upstream drilling and related services, pipeline engineering and construction, engineering and construction of oil and gas processing facilities,logistics and related support services, technical training and general human resources development, gas utilization for value added purposes such as fertilizer, power generation, petrochemicals to mention but a few.

 “The world must have learned by now that Africa’s issues cannot be treated as side issues but must be placed front and centre in dialogue about the future of our planet.  African energy has a role to play in the global energy market, but it can only play that role if the global community empowers it to play it,’’ she said.

On the threat posed to the Africa Energy market with the embrace of shale oil and gas by the US and China, Mrs. Alison-Madueke described the threat as potent and called on the Continent to rise up to the challenge.

Commenting on gas flaring and environmental pollution, the Minister stated that the country has begun the implementation of mitigation strategies that will over time compensate for years of carbon emissions adding that Nigeria aspires to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 at the latest.

This aspiration is already being realized with gas flares now at a significantly reduced level relative to previous levels. By 2010 it was down to 30 percent and now it’s down to 11 percent and would be down to two percent by 2020 and beyond, ’’ she enthused.

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