Oando Energy Resources’ Chief Operating Officer and the Senior Economist, Dr. Ainojie Alex Irune, has expressed optimism that Nigeria and indeed Africa, would make tremendous progress in their energy transition drive but that will be achieved with collaboration and partnership with critical stakeholders.
Irune, stressed the need for Nigeria and other African countries to scale up their efforts towards achieving the continent’s energy transition task in order to avoid being left behind by the rest of the world.
They should focus their attentions more on attracting investments into the oil and gas industry so that they could be able to extract the huge hydrocarbon resources the continent is blessed with.
He stated this at a panel sessions at the just concluded sixth Nigerian International Energy Summit (NIES), held in Abuja.
Speaking during the CEO Roundtable, with the topic: “Building Energy for Tomorrow”, Irune urged African countries to “act fast and act now.”
Africa’s energy transition has been projected to cost an estimated $100 billion annually between 2020 and 2040, presenting a huge task for the governments and industry players across the continent to achieve.
Sharing his thoughts on creating a sustainable energy future, Irune said, “For the first time in the history of the world, we are going to see energy growth and demand outstrip average economic growth across the world, in a time where the energy mix is still being contended; contended because the primarily developed world has a view of what this mix should be, and Africa has a different perspective.
“Against the backdrop of our youth population, poverty index and intra-African collaboration, we need to get impatient about delivering value and development to our people. The molecule of oil in our ground must be excavated with urgency; I’m talking about oil; we must create the balance sheet that will fund the transition.”
Noting that the Petroleum Industry PIA (PIA) had come to make that journey a little less tortuous and that whilst the PIA was not perfect, it was a starting point, he added that it was also understood that the PIA could quickly become obsolete because of the pace of change.
Also touching on gas as a transition fuel, Irune said the stakeholders had recognised gas as a transition fuel.
With Nigeria being the leader in the discourse because of its status as a gas province with a little bit of oil, and by investing in developing gas, Irune said that would be, “the lever for developing our industry, kickstarting our economy and taking us into the age where we can genuinely compete with the rest of the world.”
However, in terms of attracting funding, Irune said the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, was going to play a large role because of its position as the largest oil company in the country.