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Kyari Harps On Energy Security in Africa

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has called on African countries, particular leaders and oil and gas players in the continent, to focus on providing structures that would ensure energy security for their citizens.

He, made the call in Abuja, while presenting his keynote address to set the tone for a panel discussion at the third edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) that ended wednesday.

Kyari, who spoke on the topic: “Oil and Gas: Future Scenarios and Implications for Security, Environment and Economic Growth,” noted that the corporation has a framework in place towards ensuring energy security in Nigeria.

“African countries must focus on building structures that ensures energy security for the citizens. NNPC is committed to that and has a framework to make sure that the needed energy is available for the needs of the country,” he stated.

The GMD, who acknowledged the global clamour for energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources, however noted that hydrocarbons would continue to form the larger part of the energy mix in the foreseeable future.

“Several researches continue to confirm that by 2040, renewables will be contributing about 20 per cent of the global energy mix. This implies that fossil fuels will still contribute at least 70 per cent,” he argued.

He, therefore, urged African countries, who are still mostly underdeveloped, to continue to utilise the hydrocarbon resources available to them to develop energy sources for their populace.

According to him, “the focus must be in making sure that the energy is clean. We have to use what we have. Today, oil is being found in unexpected places.

“This contributes to the growth of middle class consumers. And so demand of fuel will continue with increase with population and prosperity. Global demands will remain over 100 million barrels per day.

“Kyari, added that African countries should focus not solely on the clamour for renewables but largely on the need to deliver energy for the development of their people.

Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director of Waltersmith Petroman, Chikezie Nwosu, said African countries had huge resource deposits, but were very low on resource consumption and consequently, low Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

He called on African countries to focus more on consumption against export. “The key thing to do is to decarbonize fossil fuels. Africans must not focus on selling commodities but on converting the hydrocarbons into consumable products,” Nwosu stated.

Nwosu, also at the forum, announced that his company was building the needed infrastructure that would convert fossil fuels’ feed stock into consumable products.

Also speaking about developing the gas sector for national economic growth, the President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Mrs. Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, noted that the power sector was the largest consumer of gas in the country.

According to her, “the power sector in Nigeria is plagued by huge liquidity issues”.

Joe-Ezigbo asserted that such uncertainty was not attractive to new investors, and called for better commercial framework that would attract more investors to develop the gas sector.