By Mbamara Jecinta
Spaces for Change|S4C wrapped up implementation of the Just Energy Transition (JET) radio program on 29th November, 2022, with an invitation to local stakeholders from oil host communities to discuss their perspectives towards just energy transition in Nigeria.
The project which is under the auspices of the Extractive Industry and Climate Change Governance Project titled, “From Exclusion to Inclusion in National Just Transition Plans”, is funded by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP).
The final edition depicted how oil-rich communities in Ohaji/Egbema LGA in Imo state welcomed just transition plans as a positive development towards understanding the viewpoint of host communities that are significantly impacted by oil and gas extraction.
Mr. Elemohu Edwin from the Assa committee, and Mr. Aginwa Stephen, President General of the Abaezi community were engaged in an extensive discussion on the subject. They expressed their opinions on the energy transition plan ongoing in Nigeria and advised listeners and particularly, artisanal refiners in their communities to support the government to achieve the planned green economy by year 2060.
According to the guests, their communities, despite hosting oil companies still lack good roads, electricity, clean water, employment, hospitals, and schools. They lament that there have been no benefits to them for the oil extracted from their communities, rather they are left to bear the negative brunt.
They called on the Imo state government to hold oil companies accountable and ensure they do the right things in their operational communities. They however, argued that switching to renewable energy is the best course of action to protect their environment, communities and health from further depletion and destruction.
To ensure a just transition, the guest called for an inclusive approach to engage with grassroots and to sensitize communities more on the benefit of energy transition. They emphasized the need for government to document their views and mainstream it into the national energy transition plans.