The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, has tasked governments and institutions on the African continent to adopt technology and innovation to achieve energy sufficiency and its economic multiplier effect on their people.
Speaking in Sokoto while delivering the Usman Danfodiyo University’s 2021 First Quarter Public Lecture Series titled, “Navigating Energy Transition and the Imperatives of University-Industry Collaboration,” he said African governments and institutions must rise to the occasion to leverage technology and innovation to support energy sufficiency, industrialization, job creation and economic growth.
He revealed that the NNPC as Africa’s biggest national oil company which is already building on the convergence of new technologies and innovative business models, was set to play an important role in the future of energy. “NNPC has set the necessary machineries to lead Africa in transition to low-carbon energy and renewables. We are taking firm position in this transition by institutionalizing the necessary enablers for success,” Kyari stated.
The GMD added that in line with this drive, NNPC has established a Renewable Energy Division and completely transformed the NNPC Research and Development (R&D) Division to Research, Technology and Innovation Centre as part of its key initiatives to transit to an energy company of global excellence.
However, he noted that the oil industry alone cannot drive substantial innovation without sustained collaboration with universities; research institutes, manufacturers, policy makers and regulators, and thus welcomes beneficial relationship with the academia and industry experts who demonstrate capacity for productive research and innovation in the energy sector.
According to him, energy transition cannot be complete without the right investment climate, capital, effective regulation, stakeholder’s commitment, supportive infrastructure, and an innovative business environment that can accommodate the anticipated changes, while observing that diversification of energy sources will improve global access to energy and reduce the absolute number of people without access to energy, especially in developing countries.
Kyari maintained that the new energy transition must be fashioned towards creating a balanced landscape that supports the development and energy needs of diverse groups of people across the planet. He added that as global energy consumption grows from 2018 levels by about 50% by 2050, oil and gas will continue to be a crucial component of the world’s future energy because the world will keep burning significant proportion of fossil fuels to sustain the anticipated progress and growth, especially in Asia and Africa.