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Nigeria Will Fund Its $1.9tn Energy Transition Plan With Proceeds From Fossil Fuels, Says Deputy Oil Minister Lokpobiri

He highlighted that Africa’s contributions to global emissions stand at a modest three per cent.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has said that despite calls to jettison investment in fossil fuels, Nigeria will deploy the revenues from exploiting its hydrocarbons to fund its $1.9 trillion energy transition plan.

Speaking at the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Lokpobiri, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Communication, Nneamaka Okafor, emphasised Africa’s measured stance on the global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

At COP26, then-President Muhammadu Buhari announced Nigeria’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2060.

The government said $1.9 trillion would be required to get to Net Zero by 2060, including $410 billion in projected usual spending.

The additional cost translates to about $10 billion annually, according to the energy transition office.

Lokpobiri highlighted that Africa’s contributions to global emissions stand at a modest three per cent, urging against precipitous actions that could impede the continent’s economic growth.

“Africa, including Nigeria, cannot hastily transition with aid or grants. What we need is a strategic investment in our fossil fuels sector to bolster our economy and ensure energy security,” he stated.

Lokpobiri emphasised the importance of financial independence in the transition programme and called for investment and partnerships rather than deadlines.

 “The conversation should be about fostering strategic partnerships and attracting investment, not enforcing timelines that could undermine our economic stability,” he added.

The statement pointed out that the minister’s words echoed the sentiment that transitioning should not be a rushed process but a carefully orchestrated collaboration between nations and industries.

Acknowledging Nigeria’s significant role in this global discourse, Lokpobiri shed light on the country’s ambitious plans.

He added: “With a projected transition plan and renewable energy investment of $1.9 trillion and $1.2 trillion by 2060, respectively, Nigeria recognises the need to rely on its fossil fuels to finance this transition.”

However, he underscored the commitment to responsible exploration, assuring that Nigeria would balance economic growth with environmental responsibility.

Highlighting the urgency for international cooperation, the minister stressed: “We need to shift the focus from deadlines to meaningful investment and collaboration. This is not just about Nigeria; it’s about global partnerships that benefit everyone involved.”

The minister, according to the statement, made a compelling case for the symbiotic relationship between fossil fuels and renewable energy, emphasising the need for a balanced approach that fosters economic growth and ensures environmental sustainability.

 “As the global community grapples with the transition dilemma, the Minister’s call for investment and partnership resonates as a pragmatic pathway to a sustainable future,” the statement noted.

Emmanuel Addeh

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