…………Ready to Lead Global Net-zero Transition

Minister of state, petroleum, Mr. Timipre Sylva has said that Nigeria is staking natural gas as its favourite transition fuel, even as it hopes to play a key role in the global energy transition to achieve net-zero emissions.

Sylva who spoke at the 10th anniversary of the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), themed: ‘‘Driving Regional Energy’’, held in Lagos, said the Nigerian government is stepping up game in the development of its huge gas resources.

Represented at the event by his chief of staff, Adedapo Odulaja, the minister explained that to drive this resolve, the federal government is enhancing and expanding its gas exploration, development, and utilisation schemes.

The stressed that the country has no reason not to lead Africa in the energy transition race, not with Nigeria’s approximately 209 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas reserves and a further potential of 600TCF.

“Thus we are well placed to take a leading role in providing the much-needed gas,’’ the minister said.

The minister posited that in the new resolve, the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) will undoubtedly support Nigeria’s energy transition drive, and indeed the global endeavour to eliminate energy poverty as envisioned in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

“The Act has generous incentives to enhance the development, distribution, penetration, and utilisation of gas, even as it incentivises entry into the midstream,” he explained.

According to him, the federal government will continue to expand the natural gas subsector with a view to ensuring global economic recovery and shared prosperity.

On WAPCo, the minister said the gigantic venture represents the region’s effort at  self-development and energy security, pointing that the project is primarily meant to promote energy competitiveness in the energy sub sectors of Ghana, Benin, and Togo.

“This is by promoting the use of cheaper and environment-friendly natural gas from Nigeria in lieu of solid and liquid fuels, for power generation and other industrial, commercial, and domestic uses,” the minister noted.

Ten years down the line, the WAGP has literally become the poster child of economic integration in West Africa. “The synergy that created this fellowship of industry players, under the public-private partnership banner, is the type we currently preach as an administration,” the minister said.

In his comments, the chief executive officer of WAPCo, Mr. Greg Germani, said from conception, his company had considered Nigeria as an integral part of it value chain, given the country’s shared energy resources with the rest of the sub-region.

“I also salute the vision and courage of ECOWAS and the commitment it took to navigate the complexities of forging a bond of four diverse nations, with two private concerns, to create this outstanding example of partnership and collaboration.

“As we travelled the entire stretch of the pipeline system, celebrating the successes and achievements of the WAGP and sharing our stories, I could only pause to marvel at the human spirit.

‘’Ten years of operations will certainly come with obstacles and challenges. However, WAPCo is now an efficient and dependable natural gas transporter to customers in Benin, Togo, and Ghana, supporting safe, cleaner, efficient, long-term, and secure power generation from gas supply sources in both Nigeria and Ghana,” Germani said.

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