Former Director-General, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Professor Abubakar Sambo, has urged the Nigerian government to invest in renewable energy to boost the country’s economy.
Professor Sambo stated this at the 2021 Nigerian Content Workshop, organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday.
Sambo, who spoke through a university don, Professor Cosmas Anyanwu, noted the need for government to encourage the diversification of energy to meet Net Zero target of 2050 and for sufficiency.
He advised the federal government to invest in renewable energy, noting that other rich oil countries have started diverting from fossil fuel energy to save the environment.
Sambo stressed: “The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is governing the petroleum industry; but, the oil-rich countries are investing in renewable energy and we have to take a queue because there will a time this oil will finish.
“Even though gas is cleaner than other crude oil and coal, but renewable energy is still better.
“Why we can achieve net zero with renewable energy is because the plant absorbs carbondioxide to grow. So, even if you generate carbondioxide when you are using biomass, you are sure that plant will still absorb it again so you can achieve net zero.
“We must develop the petroleum industry at the same time because Nigeria has oil. So, we have to make the most benefit of the oil. But, renewable energy is abundant in Nigeria also and nothing prevents us from tapping what we have.
“The Nigerian Energy Master plan recommends that we should use all forms of energy that are available in the country, not just renewable or oil and gas. It is only by diversifying the whole basket of energy means in Nigeria that we can achieve energy sufficiency.
“My advive is to pursue vigorously both the PIA, but also the national energy master plan which stipulates that we use the energy resources where we find them and to encourage the adoption and usage of renewable energy in Nigeria. So, government should incentivise renewable energy.”
Also, Mr. Babagana Mohammed, President of NSE, called for a more cohesive coordination and transparency in the transformation of the energy sector.
“Even though we agitate for transition from fossils to renewable energy in Nigeria, we have not lost sight of the need to be methodical about that transition.”
Earlier, Chairman, Nigerian Content Committee, NSE, Aloaye Alli, disclosed that the essence of the programme was to “empowering and domesticating services, production, manufacturing and logistics towards growing and entrenching economy-wide critical expertise and skills in key sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
Alli who noted the theme of the workshop as “Renewable Energy and Clean Fuels: Opportunities for the Nigerian Engineer”, said the choice of Port Harcourt was because it is a home to numerous oil and gas and renewable firms.