KUNLE KALEJAYE 18 August 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Oil producing countries in Africa, including Nigeria, have been urged to examine opportunities and introduce strategies to improve integration of their oil and gas resources to maximise the benefits of energy efficiency.
This will also enable the continent to keep up with global economic changes as the US shale gas and shale revolution have knocked these countries out of reckoning in terms of oil export to the US.
According to Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, “as a continent, we should seek to implement a framework policy that will harness our energy resources as well as the resourcefulness of our entrepreneurs and our industrial and financial sector.
“This will guide the deployment of energy projects by both the public and private sector. Making the most of the oil and gas resources within the region requires improved security of supply, infrastructure, human and production capital resources.”
The governor, who stated this at the Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE, Nigeria Council 38th annual international conference and exhibition in Lagos, explained that globalisation has brought the world together indicating an increasingly interdependent world.
Represented by the Commissioner of Energy and Mineral Resources of the state, Engr. Taofiq Tijani, the governor said energy security was “a two way street”.
“Both producers and consumers must have a sense of security of demand and supply. We have a collective duty to guarantee energy security that is supported by integrated energy resource planing.
“Simply improving the supply of energy to an underdeveloped area can enhance the quality of life of the resident, for example providing more hours of electricity per day for lighting and home appliances.
“Furthermore, if we combine improvement in energy supply with the introduction of economically productive activities, then we can improve both the quality of life and our economy at the same time,” he said.
The governor explained that identifying opportunities to use energy to bring about both social and economic development should be the goal of the integrated energy development approach.
Sustainable energy, according to the governor, means not taking fossil fuels out of the energy mix, but allowing them to co-exist alongside green technologies with the end goal of maximum use of energy sources.
He added that technologies and investment initiative that improve energy efficiency are becoming more important in order for the sustainable energy goal to be met.
Commenting on Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, Fashola said when passed by the National Assembly, iit will put the petroleum sector on the path of robust growth.
He maintained that initiatives such as gas price reform, gas commercialisation framework and gas infrastructure supported by the Local Content Act were aspects of the ongoing reform in the oil and gas industry that would provide the basis for a vibrant Nigerian economy.
Fashola reiterated that the ambitious goals of the PIB cannot be easily met without the successful co-operation of the public and private sector.
“Each sector has distinct roles to play. For the public sector, strong policy making capacities and investment incentives schemes is needed. For the private sector, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and more risk taking profile depending on the expected is important.
“Such co-operation would need to focus on specific areas in order to best facilitate and support the private sector investment initiatives. Government, industries, academia, financiers and end users must work together for us to have successful innovations that promote clean energy techniques.
“That is the only way we can promote new technological applications that have not been commercialised yet on a large scale,” Fashola stated.