The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki stated that the 8th National Assembly and the Senate under his leadership believes that the supply of adequate and affordable energy mix is essential for Nigeria in the 21st century. Affordable energy mix should be a complimentary means to achieving energy security as energy security can only be achieved through adequate investments that are coherent and consistent.
The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki stated this at a one-day workshop on the State of Energy Security in Nigeria on the way to COP 23 (23rd conference of Parties on climate change), organised by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Climate Policy and Energy Security programme for Sub-Saharan Africa, in Lagos, recently.
The Senate President, represented by Senator Shaba Lafiaji stated that Nigeria must deepen strategic partnerships with countries that have more experience and resources to build the nation’s capacity for policy coherence and technology transfer to generate #Made in Nigeria energy access innovations to grow the Naira.
“Looking inwards to provide the required capital to invest in energy infrastructure means reforming the administration of our current major source of revenue; improving other revenue generating sectors and instituting an economic diversification framework that could initiate a stepwise transition to a green economic development pathway,” he said.
He stated that Nigeria’s mono-economic revenue profile derived from oil was highly volatile, “as it depends on global oil price shocks thereby affecting government budgetary framework and by extension, the entire economy.
“Fixing the lacuna in the oil and gas sector has to be tackled first before implementing any policy frameworks and reforms that can give a robust energy base for the nation. As a result, the 8th Senate made history by breaking a 17-year jinx by passing the first part of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill for the reform of the petroleum industry,” he said.
He stated that the Bill established a framework for the creation of commercially-oriented and profit-driven petroleum entities which fosters a conduceive business environment for the petroleum industry operations, ensures value addition, promotes transparency and accountability in the administration of the nation’s petroleum resources.
“In 2013, I set up the Nigerian chapter of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) an apolitical purpose-driven parliamentary caucus which my Special Assistant is still coordinating,” he said.
He said the entire idea was “to establish a strong Legislators’ support-base to cooperate with our peers within the National Assembly and over 80 other countries, to agree and support laws in pursuit of sustainable development with particular emphasis on addressing issues relating to climate change, forests and natural capital.
“The 8th National Assembly is working hard to pass the necessary laws to achieve energy security and will continue to do this with effective support from partners. We acknowledge that in order to fundamentally create a robust and secure energy base, strategic and deliberate government policy both short and long terms that will guarantee the present and future energy needs is necessary,” he said.
Saraki stated that some countries were already shifting public policy to embrace renewable energy as part of their energy mix and to drive energy efficiency. “Currently in the United States, China India and some EU countries, the price of solar energy is hitting record low thereby undercutting fossil fuels and employing more of their citizens.
“Several oil producing countries like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are aggressively investing in their renewable energy sector to diversify their economy for reasons like; already existing technology to leapfrog over development.
“Other reasons include; placing a higher premium on issues as security, health, education, well-being, cleaner air, cleaner cities, etc; better management of what they currently have, and the integration of these concerns into their economic model thereby attracting human and material resources, new investments and businesses as well as innovative ideas to grow their economy and improve the livelihood of their people,” he said.
Climate policies and energy security…
The Director, Climate Policy and Energy Security Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Prof. Oliver Ruppel stated that climate policies and energy security were issues that have largely been neglected not just in Africa but in many parts of the world and that the move by the US President, Donald Trump also called for further action and discussion.
Ruppel stated that the essence of the workshop was to gather experts to deliberate on core issues and also to assess the scientific situation of climate change in Nigeria, which is obvious in various sectors.
Experts in both science and the legal field participated in the workshop. They made references to the Nigerian Constitution which gave a clear core on sector policies and sector legislations which may need to be improved in order to achieve the National Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, he said.
He stated that Nigeria is heavily dependent on fossil fuel, but that on a long-term vision, it is relatively clear that fossil fuel will find an end and be replaced by renewable energy. “Adding to the energy mix at an early stage will improve the competitiveness of Nigeria both locally and internationally, as many of its populace will benefit from its effect.”