The western world has been criticized for what is described as the attempt to demonize or de-market other energy sources as well as extracting commitments and setting unrealistic deadlines for countries to abandon fossil fuels

Speaking at the recent convocation lecture of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) Effurun, last weekend, the executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote advised all nations to jealously guard their locally available sources of energy and ensure they remain in their energy mix for the benefit of their people.

Wabote whose lecture was titled: “Defining the Value of Local Content in Petroleum Education,” highlighted two implications that have emerged from the rush to move the world away from fossil fuels.

They include divestment, “where by western countries shift funding away from the development of hydrocarbons towards renewable energy and energy shortage, which is the decline in the supply of hydrocarbons due to lack of investments and the fast pace of the shift to renewable energies,” he said.

The NCDMB boss explained that divestment has resulted in the emergence of indigenous companies playing major roles in exploration and production activities “such that companies like Aiteo, First E&P, Eroton, and others have acquired assets and are now responsible for producing about 15% of Nigeria’s oil and more than 60% of domestic gas.”

Wabote however regretted that the divestment of the international oil companies and their reluctance to make further investments in oil and gas have resulted in the repatriation of capital out of Nigeria.

“This stifles the nation’s economy of the much-needed foreign exchange with funds used as loans to acquire oil and gas assets instead of being used to develop new production assets,” he rued.

He stressed that there is an urgent need for the Nigerian government, and other stakeholders of the oil and gas industry to intensify efforts in the promotion of quality petroleum education and development of competent manpower who would help Nigeria meet the challenges of the ongoing energy transition and expected boom in the gas sector.

Wabote canvassed that as western nations shift their attention from oil and gas and focus on the provision of funding, manufacturing of equipment, and development of supply chain to support their renewable energy sources, it is imperative that hydrocarbon-rich countries, like Nigeria develops the requisite capacity and capability to produce and utilize their fossil fuel resources. 

The NCMDB boss said that the ongoing debate and the deadlines being set in respect of energy transition underscores the need to develop home-grown skill sets to develop and manage the nation’s natural resources.

He stressed that “the narrative around energy transition has further revealed the need to ensure that there is a direct link between our petroleum education and the development and utilization of our hydrocarbon resources, so we are able to deal with any outcome of the transition.”

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