Energy Transition: NRGI, CTA Task Govt On Realistic Gas Expansion Plan

participants during the workshop in Abuja

By Juliet Ukanwosu

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) in partnership with the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has called on the Nigerian government to develop gas expansion plans that takes into cognizance increasing constraints such as financial, infrastructural and human resource-related, imposed by the energy transition.

Speaking at a one-day workshop for media and civil society organizations on right-sizing Nigeria’s national gas plans for non-power uses, Tengi George-Ikoli, Senior Officer, NRGI, Nigeria Program, said the global pressure brought about by energy transition complicates the process and could lead to wasted investments that jeopardize the economic and energy security of Nigerians in the future, if the country does not right-size its plans.

She explained that “Whether ramping up gas utilization is feasible, or indeed the appropriate approach to achieving Nigeria’s energy supply and economic ambitions, is uncertain. What is certain is that global pressure to transition away to cleaner energies and defund fossil fuel projects complicates the process of realizing that goal and could lead to wasted investments that jeopardize the economic and energy security of Nigerians in the future.”

She stressed the importance for the government to better balance the need to meet domestic energy demand and achieve a sustainable energy future.

Tengi pointed out that meeting Nigeria’s domestic energy needs remains one of the most significant barriers to sustainable development and economic growth in the country, adding that only half of the country’s 200 million citizens currently have access to energy.

To this end, she urged the government to publish a comprehensive, costed, realistic and detailed plan for its non-power uses such as CNG, LPG and others with clear roles for state, non-state actors and investors with periodic progress updates as well as provide a detailed outline of the investment mobilization for critical infrastructure needed to address the wide dearth of non-power gas use infrastructure including CNG stations

Furthermore, Tengi underscored the need for government to outline a detailed plan to end gas flaring and provide progress updates on the gas flare commercialization program designed to reduce host community exposure to toxins.

“The Nigerian government must make sure its CNG & LPG and other non-power uses of gas ambitions match its realistic capacity for gas expansion. Right-sizing is imperative to ensure Nigeria achieves as a sustainable energy future,” she added.

Also speaking at the event, Executive Director of CTA, Faith Nwadishi, emphasized the need for stakeholders to critically evaluate whether the proposed uses of gas in non-power sectors are viable and advantageous compared to existing or potential alternatives.

While calling on the media and CSOs to amplify public discourse on the implications of Nigeria’s plans for utilising gas in non-power sectors, Nwadishi urged all accountability actors to thoroughly examine the technical and commercial viability of these uses, along with the associated risks.

“We must consider the emissions implications, particularly methane, which poses significant challenges to both our climate goals and public health,” she said.

She explained that by enhancing the Nigerian public’s understanding of the viability and implications of the gas utilization plans, “we can foster robust advocacy and informed public discourse. This, in turn, will help to steer Nigeria’s gas strategies towards more sustainable and appropriately scaled uses,” Nwadishi said.

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