Ways to Achieve Energy Security in Nigeria—Saraki

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By Dipo Olowookere

Senate President, Mr Bukola Saraki, has listed steps needed to be taken to achieve energy security in the country, which will eventually lead to safe environment and uplift the social economic wellbeing of the people.

Mr Saraki, while speaking on Friday at a one day workshop on the State of Energy Security in Nigeria, organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) climate policy and energy security programme for sub-Saharan Africa in Lagos, said Nigeria must look inwards to provide the required capital to invest in energy infrastructure by reforming the administration of 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.

The Senate President, represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Hakeem Baba Ahmed, noted that it was key for the country to deepen strategic partnerships with countries that have more experience and resources to build capacity for policy coherence and technology transfer in order to generate made in Nigeria energy access innovations to grow the Naira.

While further giving the recommendations in his speech, Mr Saraki said the 8th National Assembly firmly believes that the supply of adequate and affordable energy mix was essential and should be a complimentary means to achieve energy security.

He said, “Nigeria must deepen strategic partnerships with countries that have more experience and resources to build our capacity for policy coherence and technology transfer to generate made in Nigeria energy access innovations to grow the Naira.

“The 8th National Assembly and the Senate under my leadership believes that the supply of adequate and affordable energy mix is essential in the 21st century, and there cannot be any pretense about this.

“But it should be a complimentary means to achieve energy security because energy security can only be achieved through adequate investments that are coherent and consistent.

“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. I believe that this is the best way to go if we truly want to achieve sustainable energy security in Nigeria.”

He further stated that since revenue derived from oil is highly volatile, fixing gaps leading to revenue leakages in the petroleum industry need to be addressed before implementing any policy for energy sufficiency and sustainability.

He said that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) by the 8th Senate is meant to reform the oil industry and make it more revenue efficient and investment friendly.

“Nigeria’s mono-economic revenue profile derived from oil is highly volatile as it depends on global oil price shocks thereby affecting government budgetary framework and by extension, the entire economy,” Saraki said. “Therefore, fixing the lacuna in the oil and gas sector have to be tackled first before implementing any policy frameworks and reforms that can give a robust energy base for the nation.

“As a result, last week Thursday, the 8th Senate made history by breaking a 17 years jinx by passing the first part of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill for the reform of the petroleum industry.

“The bill established a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit-driven petroleum entities that fosters a conducive business environment for the petroleum industry operations that ensures value addition, promote transparency and accountability in the administration of petroleum resources of Nigeria.

“The bill applies to the rights, interests, obligations and liabilities of the petroleum industry in Nigeria and establishes a regulatory commission, the Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated, the National Petroleum Company, the Nigeria Asset Management Company and a Fund which shall defray expenditures of the commission,” he said.

The Senate President stated that if a village of less than 10000 inhabitants in Feldheim can cooperate to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy supply, states in Nigeria can replicate the feet by partnering with the private sector.

He said that his vision is for the country to liberalize the energy situation in such a way that all segments of the populace can have uninterrupted access to power to support and uplift their social, economic and educational wellbeing.

He said further that, “In March this year, I visited the 100% Renewable energy village of Feldheim near Berlin and was impressed by the fact that a small village of less than 1000 people was able to form an energy cooperative that generate energy from renewable sources such that surpluses are sold to the national grid. That experience was an eye-opener for my delegation that if a small village in Germany can develop such an energy model, why can’t one state in Nigeria do it in partnership with the private sector?

“The 8th National Assembly is working hard to pass the necessary laws to achieve energy security and we will continue to do this with effective support from partners like everyone in this room.

“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.

“Together we can help liberalize the energy situation in Nigeria in such a way that the rural woman can cook with a clean cookstove and fuel; the school pupil can wake up at night and have light to do his/her home-work; the farmer can power coolers to preserve his/her milk and prevent post-harvest losses; the barber and hair-dresser can make more money with regular energy access; the industrialist will no longer want to close shop and move to Ghana,” he said.

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