Encourage Gas Development, Technology innovation in Africa – NAEC tells, FG, Stakeholders

Fred Shaka-Braimah

The National Association of Energy Correspondents, NAEC, has called on the Federal Government and stakeholders in the energy sector to create an enabling environment for gas development and innovation of Gas technologies in Africa.

NAEC’s Chaiman, Ugochukwu Amadi, made the call in Abuja at the Africa Gas Innovation Summit (AGIS) 2024, with the theme “Igniting the Future: Driving Sustainability in Africa’s Energy Landscape through Gas Technology and Innovation.”

Mr. Amadi said a lot could be achieved in the nation’s economy by creating policies that would encourage investments through collaboration and adaptataion to new technologies.

He noted that the country was faced with numerous challenges and that it was only when such challenges are addressed that significant progress would be made in the energy sector.

” We are not unmindful that Africa and Nigeria’s energy sector is facing several challenges, which include but not limited to Inadequate infrastructure, Lack of policy consistency, inconsistent Energy access, Insufficient incentives and regulatory hurdles that discourage private investment”, Amadi said.

Other challenges, according to Ugo Amadi, include concerns about energy security, particularly in the face of rising demand and declining domestic production , Inadequate funding for energy projects and programmes, Weak institutional capacity, corruption, and political interference which hinder effective policy implementation.

“Therefore, addressing these challenges is crucial to developing a sustainable, efficient, and inclusive energy sector in Nigeria and Africa.

“The leadership of His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who doubles as Minister of Petroleum Resources, recently signed the Presidential Executive Orders on oil and gas in March this year, aimed at improving the efficiency and attractiveness of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

“However, stakeholders are still calling for a proper review of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 in order to unlock Nigeria’s vast hydrocarbon potential, attract investment, and propel the nation towards greater economic success and shared prosperity.

“As an association, we are committed to advocating a just and equitable energy security for Nigeria and Africa as a whole. We are also dedicated to telling the gas story in the most compelling way possible and support the implementation of the Nigeria’s Decade of Gas Initiative”.

The NAEC chairman advised on the need for the federal government to take more practical approaches to addressing the issues in the industry with the aim of creating a more sustainable energy future.

“We are calling on all stakeholders and government to ensure an enabling environment for gas technology development and innovation in Africa which requires a multi-faceted approach.

“Some of those result oriented approaches include but not limited to Government policies that encourage investment in gas technologies and innovation, Strengthening institutional and human resource capacities in Africa, Collaboration among government, industry, academia, and the entrepreneurial community to address challenges and opportunities in the gas sector

“Also, there is need to promote digital technologies such as blockchain, digital platforms, and smart grids to achieve new energy production and consumption models, Encouraging technical, vocational, and tertiary education and training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, Enhancing cooperation to strengthen tertiary education systems and increase access to online education in areas related to sustainable development

“In addition, increasing the number of scholarships available to students in Africa to enroll in higher education is necessary while ensuring adequate, balanced, and effective protection of intellectual property rights in both developed and developing countries, the chairman noted remains very important.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, as we deliberate, we are trusting that we go beyond theory and look at practical and achievable steps the nation and Africa at large need to develop its gas sector for shared wealth.

“Today, we stand on the verge of history in our energy sector, we must change the narrative , in such a manner that gives credence to the quotation “ We have stayed long enough on this mountain, we must take our journey into our destiny’. So ’let us do all we can to harness the opportunities that promise not only to meet the immediate needs of our growing economies but also to secure a sustainable future for the next generations for common wealth.” Amadi concluded.

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