The Federal Government on Wednesday charged other governments in Africa to join hands in rescuing the continent from its current abject energy poverty.
It stressed that it was unacceptable for 600 million people in Africa to lack access to electricity despite the abundant energy resources on the continent.
Nigeria’s Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, gave the charge at the African Petroleum Producers Oragnisation meeting organised in Abuja for the Chief Executive Officers of oil and gas companies of APPO members.
He said, “It is unacceptable in this modern age that 600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity, and 900 million have no access to clean cooking fuel. Our imminent mission should be to rescue this vast number of our people from this grip of unjustifiable abject energy poverty.
“We should harness all our abundant and varied energy resources, including fossil fuels and renewable resources, in order to assure, not only availability and accessibility, but also affordability and sustainability, to meet our increasing energy demand.
“Of course, this does not imply ignoring the issue of CO2 emissions and concerns about climate change, which is fueling the calls for energy transition. We should, however, clarify that energy transition does not imply that some energy sources should be abandoned.”
Sylva told the oil companies’ CEOs and ministers of African countries that energy transition was all about providing clean energy and not about discriminating between energy sources.
“All available energy sources will be required to end the high level of energy poverty in Africa and achive the sustainable development goal of providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” he stated.
Oil company representatives and energy ministers from Angola, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria were in attendance.
“You should use this opportunity to deliberate on how we can harness our financial resources and accelerate technology development to face the global energy transition onslaught,” Sylva told delegates at the meeting.
He added, “We need to develop cross-border infrastructure and expand regional energy market to guarantee long-term energy security. I have no doubt that the future of Africa’s oil and gas industry is still bright, despite the global energy transition uptake. You are central to making this a reality. Don’t fail us.”