Ahead of the commencement of the 26th United Nations’ Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, next week, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd., Mallam Mele Kyari, has advocated for energy justice in the implementation of energy transition on the continent.
Discussions on countries transiting to less carbon-intensive energy sources have gained momentum in the last few years, with global leaders calling for a shift from fossil fuels as critical action towards tackling climate crisis.
Speaking at the 17th All Nigerian Editors’ Conference in Abuja where he was the special guest of honour, Kyari argued that wholesale execution of energy transition without regard to the peculiar socio-economic conditions of various countries would cause dislocations that could exacerbate security challenges in developing nations.
Kyari, whose paper was titled “Insecurity as it Affects the Oil and Gas Sector”, maintained that his concept of energy justice was to allow each country, especially developing nations, progress at their pace while leveraging on their hydrocarbon resources for smooth transition to Net Zero by 2050.
“Talking about energy transition, it is my view that there must be energy justice. Countries should develop at their own pace while taking into consideration the realities that they face,” Kyari stated.
According to the NNPC CEO, individual nations should be allowed to transit based on their contributions to the carbon emission to the point that, ultimately, there will be justice for all by 2050.
“Energy justice would ensure that, as we transit, we are allowed to develop at a pace and in a manner that is just,” he added.
The NNPC helmsman also urged the media and other stakeholders to champion the cause of energy justice in the global quest for cleaner energy, stressing that gas development remained the only option for Nigeria to achieve energy transition.
Speaking on NNPC’s refineries and the role they play in ensuring energy security for the country, he said the NNPC management under his leadership remained keen on changing the narrative and getting the refineries back on stream by taking advantage of the free-hand given to the management by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This is the first time in history that NNPC and its subsidiaries are allowed to do things the way things should be done. Now, I can confirm to you that we have taken responsibility and we will fix the refineries. We have started the process, contractors have been mobilised to the Port Harcourt refinery, while the same process for Warri and Kaduna refineries will conclude by the end of this year,” he declared.
On the menace of crude oil and products theft, the NNPC CEO said much progress has been made through collaboration with security agencies.
A statement by NNPC’s group general manager, group public affairs division, Garba Muhammad, said Kyari called for support of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and other stakeholders towards reducing insecurity within the oil and gas industry.
Earlier in his welcome address, the president of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, Mr. Mustapha Isah, said the purpose of the conference was to find solutions to the various security challenges facing the country.
Isah also called on all stakeholders to rise to the insecurity challenges by giving their best in defence of the nation.