From Uche Usim, Abuja
With the global energy transition chants reaching a crescendo, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, has said that an annual investment of around $25 billion in the next eight years could help 2.6 billion people globally access clean cooking gas by 2030.
He also canvassed $25 billion annual investments for electricity so that 759 million Africans who currently lack it can enjoy it.
The Minister, who said these at the annual Symposium and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) on Tuesday in Lagos.
However, the Minister stressed that with “approximately 208.62 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas valued at over $803.9trillion and potential upside of 600TCF of gas, the most extensive in Africa, and in the top 10 globally.
“And in line with Federal Government’s declaration of years 2021-2030 as the ‘Decade of Gas’, we are taking steps to expand and develop the nation’s huge gas resources through enhanced gas exploration, development and utilisation schemes which will lead to gas reserves’ growth, increased gas production, maturation of the domestic and export gas market, as well as gas flare elimination,” he said.
His suggestions drew inspiration from the United Nations Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) report, which highlighted that Africa needs about $40 billion worth of investments every year if it is to meet its energy needs.
The Minister, while making reference to the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs report, noted that everyone in the world could have access to clean, affordable energy within the next nine to 10 years if countries modestly increase investments in the energy sector.
He said: “A major question that is yet to beanswered is whether Africa will benefit from an equitable share in this global investment and growth or, will continue to fall further behind global standards as encapsulated in the UN’s 17-SDGs.
“Despite the long-term and required drop in demand for fossil fuels, short-term demand and prices remain robust, providing strong commercial justification for their extraction and a need to smooth the transition”.