The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has made a case for green energy as a panacea to the global challenge of climate change.

The Minister made the case in Abuja at the Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit anchored by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with the theme “Towards a Greener Africa.”

In his address, the Minister said that “it is imperative that every nation and region comes up with a green initiative to foster collective combat against the incessant threat to the planet caused by carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. Such initiatives must be bold, decisive and on target”.

The initiatives, he maintained should reflect the realities and conditions prevailing in these places, particularly the socio-economic development and energy needs.

Sylva informed the summit that Nigeria’s gas policy is to ensure that gas development is undertaken in accordance with our socio-economic development priorities. The aim is to guarantee long-term energy security in the country, and boost the domestic gas market, hence President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of 2021 to 2030 as the ‘Decade of Gas’.

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Minister opined has launched the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) as part of the National Gas Policy to expand Nigeria’s Domestic gas utilization; the National Gas Flare Commercialization Programme; as well as specific provisions in the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) that elevates Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG as the fuel of choice compared to other competing fuels.

He added that the usage of solar energy is already being vigorously promoted across the country, while the use of hydro, wind and other natural resources is also being expanded.

Chief Sylva noted categorically, that it is important for Africa to stand together to weather the climate change storm while avoiding losing all recent gains in the quest to pull our vast population out of energy poverty.

He also stressed the need for African countries to pull their financial resources together for the improvement of necessary energy infrastructures.

In his welcome address, the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, expressed his optimism that the Summit will spur Africa “as a continent of diverse people to co-operate and collaborate more, initiate innovative solutions to the challenges that are peculiar to us, come up with technologies and products that will lead to the growth and industrialization of Africa in a more environmentally friendly manner while encouraging the development and financing of green energy projects”.

The dignitaries from African countries who are attending the Summit include the Minister of Mining South Sudan, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Mining; the Republic of Kenya, Director-General Sierra Leone Petroleum Directorate, Deputy Minister of Minerals; Tanzania, Chief Strategic Planning; Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Zimbabwe and Representatives of African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO).