The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has charged the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to work on the development of green hydrogen as another energy source.
Leadership reported that Osinbajo said this during his address at the launch of a book titled: “Understanding Natural Gas: A Nigerian Perspective,” in Abuja, on Thursday, co-authored by Dr. David Ige and Mr. Dapo Akinosun.
He stated that no nation is yet to develop solely on renewable energy as the advocates of NetZero are pushing Nigeria and other countries to abandon their oil and gas resources.
Although, the VP also added that hasty transition from fossil fuel will lead to long term job losses for Nigeria, describing the call for phasing out oil and gas and developing only on renewable energy as unreasonable.
Osinbajo said, “We have to explain to several of our compatriots of Paris Agreement that they have to be fair to the other countries of the world that no country has yet been known to develop its industry solely on renewable energy and that the call for us to do so solely on renewable energy is unreasonable.
“So they must take into account the fact that we as a gas rich country require gas, not only for industry but also to even be able to effectively use solar power, especially on our grid.”
The Vice President said the push for phasing out fossil fuel has discouraged investment in the industry. He, therefore, urged the NetZero advocates to transit in a manner that will mitigate job losses in the oil and gas industry.
He also noted that Nigeria must balance between energy transition and energy poverty threat.
“One must also outline the decarbonization strategy in the areas of power, oil and gas and transportation etc, it also seeks to mitigate against the possible long term job losses in the oil and gas sector particularly because this is an industry that has dominated our economy for decades.
“And if we are going to transition out of fossil fuel we must take into account the fact that there will be long term job losses.
“We have commenced the role of gas as a transition fuel to balance the large interest of solar power on our grid.
“It is also a cheaper and cleaner option especially with respect to solar battery crunch.
“It is important that we must emphasise that while climate change is an existential threat, our own energy poverty and our development is also a major threat. And so we must find a way of balancing both,” he added.