Glowing Tributes for Charles Osezua’s ‘Rise of Gas’

Yinka Olatunbosun

Notable figures from Nigeria’s energy sector, including Mele Kyari, GCEO of NNPCL, Austin Avuru, co-founder of Seplat Energy, and Tony Elumelu, Chairman of UBA, converged on the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Victoria Island, Lagos, recently to celebrate the launch of Charles Osezua’s book, Rise of Gas: From Gaslink to the Decade of Gas. The book, hailed as a seminal work, delves into Osezua’s journey advocating for the utilisation of gas as a key driver of economic growth in Nigeria.

In his review of the book, a geologist, publisher, and co-convener of the Lagos Book & Art Festival, Toyin Akinosho, lauded the book as a “massive store of knowledge.”

“The references to himself have to do with the projects he embarked on,” he said. “It is the narrative of the Nigerian gas sector, which depending on where you sit, is both the highlights of the opportunities and a listing of the frustrations. The Rise of Gas is the story of battles lost and won. It is the story of why things work in Nigeria despite Nigeria.”

Basi Omiyi, who chaired the event, underscored the importance of Osezua’s work in sparking conversations about national development, particularly in the energy sector. He stressed the need for a unified national philosophy to address critical issues such as energy production and well-being. 

“One of the reasons we have not solved problems like energy is because we have not agreed on what our national philosophy should be. We have always judged our governments on how they manage politics. But the purpose of the government is to manage the well-being of the people.

“I’m really happy that Charles has put this book on the table. Without production, we don’t grow. And why don’t we produce? It is because we don’t have energy. It is not a luxury, it is a dear need for our people.”

Mele Kyari, represented by Mrs. Kemi Olumuyiwa of NNPC’s Corporate Communications department, hailed the book as a valuable resource documenting the rise of gas in Nigeria. He emphasised NNPC’s commitment to investing in critical gas infrastructure to enhance gas utilisation in the country. 

“You will agree that gas as a source of energy plays a critical role in our society by sustaining economic growth and that of our industries.To grow the utilisation of gas, the NNPC has invested heavily in critical gas infrastructure,” he said.

Tony Elumelu recounted  aspects of his longstanding partnership with the author, expressing willingness to continue supporting initiatives in the gas sector.  

“When Osezua shared his vision with us, we supported him and also invested. I’m happy we interacted and supported you. And if you were to do the same again today, we will support you,” he stated.

Indeed,  Rise of Gas has opened up conversations on energy transition and decarbonisation towards laying the foundation for further exploration of gas as a catalyst for economic growth and development in the country.

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