Mr. Gabriel Aduda
Giving his closing remarks at the Practical Nigerian Content (PNC), held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Gabriel Aduda, appealed to African countries not to focus on climate change to the detriment of fossil fuel.
He said Africa cannot leave the certainty of fossil fuel and begin to pursue an uncertain future.
Speaking on the theme: “Deepening Nigerian Content Amidst Divestment, Domestication and Decarbonisation”, he called on Africans not to allow the continent to be emasculate by the world into their own agenda.
Aduda explained that the complete shift towards renewable energy will only further destroy the environment which the climate team is fighting against.
“People talk about renewable, yes! We didn’t say you should not make up renewable, we are not fighting the energy mix, we are doing the best that we can, but at what expense? Because number one, renewable don’t come cheap. Try putting solar and see, try putting up turban and see, try building the batteries; first you’ll need the Nikon, the Cobalt, the Lithium, and all that.
“Where do you get them from – in Africa. How do you get them; we have to increase mining activity over a thousand percentage and at the end of the day, we deplete the same environment that the climate team is fighting against. So, this simply doesn’t make sense,” he noted.
The Permanent Secretary also told the stakeholders and participants not to be discouraged in pushing Local Content agenda because even OPEC at the COP28 had made it very clear that all OPEC countries are only committed to reducing emission and not to reduce production.
He said that Africa should understand that fossil fuels are not going anywhere soon as over 80% of world transportation, energy is still being run by fossil fuel.
“I think in next 100 years we will still be here. And you must ask yourselves, most of the cosmetics that you use, where do they come from?”, he asked.
Aduda also urged the stakeholders not to be discouraged, but to remain resilient as the government is also working to ensure that the country is able to continue to take advantage of the enormous Crude Oil resources in the country.
“So please, as far as I am concerned, for local content in Nigeria, the field is still very green. We still have a lot of work to do. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that what you are doing will no longer be relevant to the industry in a few years, no, that is not going to happen.
“At the federal level, we are working to see that we support. A lot is in play, and just yesterday, the Executive Secretary took his time to reel out laws, the technical support, the financial support, now research has been added, and all these are put in place for you to be able to take advantage of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
“Apart from that, the government is working right now, and we are bidding hard to bring the African energy bank to Nigeria. We want to host it here, we want the headquarters of the African energy bank to be here in Nigeria. And why is the African Petroleum Producers Organization pushing for the African Energy Bank, it’s simply because very soon we know that the western world is going to use funding against us, against the development of fossil fuels.
“We are saying no, we are going to put up our own bank that can support Africa because what we owe the world actually is reduction in decarbonizations and harmful emission, but we do not owe the world a reduction in the production of fossil fuel,” he added.