Energy Transition: NRGI, Budgit Host Oil Bearing Communities To Awareness Meeting

group photo of some participants at the meeting in Port Harcourt on Thursday February 16, 2023

By Juliet Ukanwosu

As a follow up to the National Dialogue on Energy Transition held in October 2023, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and BudgIT on Thursday held a one-day Training and Awareness on Just Energy Transition for oil communities, women and youths.

Present at the meeting which held in Port Harcourt, were community leaders, women and youth leaders drawn from Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Cross Rivers State.

In her opening remarks, Tengi George-Ikoli, Senior Officer, NRGI, explained that the goals of the meeting were to clarify participant’s perspectives on Energy Transition (ET) and Just Energy Transition (JET), outline the characteristics of ‘just energy transition,’ as well as the key highlights and gaps in Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan.

In her presentation titled, ‘What is Energy Transition and Just Energy Transition,’ George-Ikoli, explained the meaning and the different perspectives of ET, how it applies to Nigeria’s energy transition plan as well as ways that marginalized oil bearing communities can advocate for inclusion in the energy transition plan and process.

Furthermore, Kenny Aderogba, Community Relations Officer, Spaces for Change, presented a paper titled, ‘Inclusion of oil communities, women and youth groups in Nigeria’s energy transition plan and process,’ which focused on how oil communities, women and youth groups can ensure inclusion of their perspectives, while highlighting the internal structures they can leverage to get inclusion at all levels of governments.

Similarly, Adejoke Akinbode, Extractives Lead, BudgIT Foundation, and Juliet Ukanowsu, Executive Director, Extractive360 presented papers titled ‘Economic implications of energy transition on oil communities, women and youth groups,’ and ‘Environmental and Social Impacts of Energy Transition on oil communities, women and youth groups,’ respectively.

In her presentation, Akinbode shared data and information from BudgIT’s state of States showing the impacts of energy transition on oil producing States, while emphasizing on how impacted groups can demand for the inclusion of economic inequality in the Nigerian energy transition plan.

On her part, Ukanwosu shared perspectives from previous community work, providing examples on how communities can incorporate their voices and concerns on environmental justice and social exclusion into Nigeria’s energy transition process and plan.

Participants at the highly interactive meeting commended the organisers and facilitators for the event, which they described as very impactful. They however appealed that the training and awareness program should not be one off, requesting for a continues engagement process to keep communities informed on developments relating to Nigeria’s energy transition plans.

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