Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Group Executive Director, Upstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Adokiye Tombomieye, yesterday argued that Nigeria must refocus on deploying its crude oil to industrialise the country before the extinction of hydrocarbons.
The top NNPCL chief maintained that rather than the current export orientation in the oil and gas industry, the country could begin the domestication of its resources by processing them and thereby boosting job opportunities.
Tombomieye spoke at the 2022 Annual Conference of the Association of Professional Women Engineers (APWEN), held in Abuja.
The engineer, who is the patron of APWEN spoke on the theme: “Just Energy Transition Strategy: An Enabler for Sustainable Development in Nigeria.”
“Before the window closes on fossil fuels, Nigeria must utilise its huge oil and gas resources to boost our economy and promote sustainable growth and social development for the present and future generations.
“Nigeria must therefore move away from being an energy exporting country to an energy utilisation country, by processing and utilising our crude oil and gas for our domestic energy needs in order to drive industrialisation, create jobs, and provide electricity for over 200 million Nigerians. No one will do this for us – things must change,” he argued.
But despite the push to dump fossil fuels and embrace renewable sources of energy, the GED stressed that gas will become the transition fuel for Nigeria, adding that financial institutions are still willing to fund the exploration of gas resources.
He stated that the country’s energy transition will create significant investment opportunities such as the establishment and expansion of industries related to solar energy, hydrogen, and electric vehicles.
According to him, the aggressive move towards a zero carbon emission position will boost the ability of Nigerian oil and gas companies to attract funding for gas projects.
“The energy transition will continue to impact the ability of Nigeria and oil and gas companies to attract capital as banks and investors prioritise Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors and are moving away from funding hydrocarbon projects.
“Globally, the transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions which primarily comes from burning fossil fuels for our cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes; 90 per cent of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum based, which includes primarily gasoline and diesel,” he added.
According to him, about 60 per cent of the fossil fuel market in Nigeria is driven by the transportation industry which marks a very significant consumption percentage for fossil fuels.
For Tombomieye, the replacement of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) with Electric Vehicles (EVs) will automatically affect the market demand for fossil fuel vehicles.
“With about 60 per cent of your fossil fuel (crude oil) demand impacted, it will significantly and negatively impact crude oil production.
“Unfortunately, for us in Nigeria, we produce and sell crude oil, which is an anti-energy transition. Nigeria is endowed with abundant natural resources,” he added.
He noted that the usage of renewables, including solar, wind, tidal wave as well as natural gas remains a very important transition fuel for sustainable development, stressing that Nigeria has a healthy balance of gas and oil.
“The good news is that financial institutions will fund gas projects. Therefore, leveraging upon gas development will be a way for Nigeria to navigate the energy transition mantra.
“Energy transition also comes with the opportunities of carbon credits and because Nigeria produces gas and oil, we can market our carbon which will also be an incentive for us to process funding from financial institutions,” he noted.