NEITI Welcomes Nigeria’s Climate Change, Green Economic Solutions

Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary, NEITI

By Stephanie Odiase

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says it welcomes the renewed political commitments of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu towards strengthening Nigeria’s Climate Change, Energy Transition and Green Economic Solutions.

According to the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the recent constitution of a Presidential Committee on Climate Action and Green Economic Solutions and the appointment of focal persons with specific responsibilities of coordinating and overseeing all policies and programmes on climate action and green economic development are fundamental steps that signaled  the country’s interests in the international debate on climate change, energy transition and Green economic solutions.

He explained that with the United Nations’ projection that Nigeria’s population will rise to 400 million in the next 20 years, an unprecedented increase in energy demand that will put so much pressure on energy financing for developing countries, including Nigeria, makes it important for the country to prepare adequately for this so as to minimize the associated risks while maximizing the potential opportunities that come with climate change and energy transition.

Dr. Orji who was speaking in Abuja at a roundtable event organized by BudgIT Foundation, on tracking energy transition costs and transparency in the budgeting, said, “NEITI identified that deliberate investments in the solid minerals sector, gas infrastructure and commercialization, technology, research innovation, human capital development, transportation, food security, and use of low-carbon hydrogen as priority areas of focus in the country’s budgeting to respond to Energy Transition and climate change. These opportunities come at a cost that requires commitment to compute them in terms of human and material resources.”

While reiterating the importance of gas commercialization as an important pathway for Nigeria to mitigate the risks and economic impacts of Climate Change and Energy Transition, he said “NEITI’s recent report of the oil and gas industry disclosed a total unremitted revenue of gas royalty payments of $559.8 million and another unremitted sum of $828.8 million from unpaid gas flare penalties. A close look at these figures indicated that more gas was flared during the period than utilized, thereby posing serious dangers to the global zero emissions agenda.”

The Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Ishaq Salako, who was special guest at the Round Table event, explained that the federal government, through the Ministry, has initiated the National Climate Change Policy and Climate Change Act to provide comprehensive policy framework and roadmap for the country’s national climate action, even as he emphasized the importance of transparency in climate budgeting.

The Minister announced that a National Green Bond Program has been launched to pioneer the issuance of sovereign green bond in Africa to finance projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development.

“So far Nigeria has issued two sovereign green bonds, raising a total sum of N25.69 billion to finance 39 projects cutting across afforestation, renewable energy, transportation, agriculture and water resources. The process for the issuance of the third sovereign green bond is ongoing and has reached advance stage,” Dr. Salako said.


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