The global energy value chain is rapidly shifting focus from consumption of the conventional or traditional dirty energy sources (fossil fuels) towards a technologically advanced cleaner energy future that aligns with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) climate action mitigation plan. This development involves innovative and credible solutions needed to deliver the clean, affordable, and reliable energy the world requires to tackle the climatic challenges and energy security. This trending development is fast gaining traction all over the global village (as the global energy demands keep rising) that many countries of the world are proactively investing and repositioning for their future energy development plan (with a view to retaining their relevance or to not be overtaken, left behind or cut off by these historic updates in the global energy scheme among the comity of nations). Energy companies and nations therefore, have severally and respectively been keying into the future generation and production of this eco/environmental friendly (nature-related) energy innovative schemes and research programmes.
Back home in Nigeria, all the relevant bodies and organs of the federal government (Ministries, Departments and Agencies), and those in the oil industry, especially the national oil company (NOC) – the NNPC Limited with the oil and gas sector’s regulatory arms, including the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), are supposed to be more visibly involved, committed and engaged in the cleaner energy business of the future than what is currently playing out. It looks like the misdirected and/or ill-represented palliative for the removal of the notorious and wasteful fuel subsidy policy. Nigeria as a nation doesn’t usually make hay while the sun shines! We always board last on most issues that matter a lot, and at heavy costs eventually. The energy sector of the Nigerian economy needs to be heavily re-jigged to get it seriously engrossed with the global developmental activities regarding the newer energy conversion facilities and schedules toward actualising the decarbonising process for a net zero target by 2050. This target, of course, can only be feasible through the collective and participatory involvement of the energy industry in efforts toward eliminating methane (CH4) emissions and phasing out carbon (CO2) emissions across the global energy value chain.
The energy business is such a strategic project that demands all efforts to start advancing funds from the proceeds of crude oil exports, especially now that the opportunities are still within reach from the sales of crude in the international market. The gas projects in the industry also require the rapt attention of cross-sector partnerships and the collective actions of energy policy/opinion moulders, investors and enablers in government to push and elevate the natural gas resources and value chain into a place of strategic importance and prominence in local processing of harvested associated gas. This is to significantly manifest the needed product cost relevance for energy consumers, in the midst of high inflationary petrol pump price prompted by Nigeria’s fuel subsidy. This would not only address the global climate and energy challenges but, most importantly, deal with the economic hardship being presently faced by Nigeria’s citizenry over the high cost of energy. The gas project, as an alternative source and as an even cleaner energy, would simultaneously provide both the cooking gas/liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and the compressed natural gas (CNG also known as the “green fuel”), if fully developed for local consumption.
The CNG remains a game-changer within the energy sector of the nation’s economy of tomorrow, because of the enormous attractive potentials and the economic advantages it carries in the gas value chain. Through research and development, quite a good number of innovative inventions could suffice from consumption of CNG to drive an economy, power economic and commercial activities with other forms of industrial machinery. Nigeria, as the largest producer of oil and gas in Africa, ought to have a very workable and realistic energy transition plan that can reposition the economy for optimal realisation of national economic efficiency, delivered through the gas master plan. The current global energy dynamics no doubt, favours the production and consumption of CNG (although sourced from fossil fuels, it remains a good alternative and cleaner energy of the near future), based on so many factors that bother on both the climate mitigation and adaptation strategies for a sustainable planet conservation, for man’s future habitation.
The government is therefore urged to be a good enabler that encourages willing investors along the entire gas value chain to partner in the services of providing affordable energy in the economy.