Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up an energy council made up of experienced and reliable energy professionals and operators from across the country to advise and proffer workable solutions to the federal government on how to address Nigeriaâ€™s dilemma with her energy sector.
NAEE stated that unless Buhari takes up the challenge of creating such a platform that would research and provide clear-cut policy options for the government on how Nigeria would make the most of her various energy sources to propel her industrialisation, the country may continue to experience dire challenges in her energy sector.
According to the NAEE, such energy research council will advise the federal government on the potentials of its energy supply sources and how best they could be tapped.
NAEE added that the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) should have undertaken the task, but is unable to do so, hence the call for an energy council.
Speaking at a recent briefing in Abuja, the president of NAEE, Prof. Wumi Iledare, stated that countries like the United States and others have such council, which have helped them to research and implement policies on shale oil exploration.
â€œThe president needs an energy council; competent energy professionals to look at the energy supply mix for Nigeria just like you have in some other places. The reason today why you see the shale gas developments in the US is because of the Potential Natural Gas Committee that existed for many year, and I said this when Buhari came to power, that there is an energy council that is moribund and should be revamped,â€ said Iledare.
Iledare also stated that the NAEE will hold the 11th edition of its annual conference this week in Abuja in conjunction with the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE).
According to him, the conference would explore the impacts the changes in global energy market could have on emerging economies like Nigeria, with emphasis on the potentials in Nigeriaâ€™s gas deposits.
Providing details of potential discussions points at plenaries in the conferences, Iledare said: â€œThe first plenary would address the role of oil and gas in an emerging economy, emphasising the need for a shift from rent-seeking and rent-sharing to value-creation in the domestic economy. it is my considered opinion that government cannot effectively and equitably spend a dollar to create value the way the private sector could.â€
â€œThe second plenary shall address the role of gas and power in an emerging economy. The discussions are expected to centre on policy development of gas for value creation and not early rent extraction. The challenges derailing the development of the natural gas market shall be addressed with solutions proffered. The best ways for unlocking the natural gas for economic growth and development rather than for direct revenue enhancement for the government would also be considered,â€ Iledare added.