September 24, 2022

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Africa needs broad-based coalition for energy transition — Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Thursday, said African states require a broad-based, inclusive position on the global Net-zero emissions target by 2050-2060, to ensure a just energy transition.

He also said that such a position must be well articulated and widely promoted by its leaders to gain traction.

According to a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Vice President stated this on Thursday at a meeting with diplomats from the G-7 countries — the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Japan, and also the Republic of Egypt — at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Other global agencies like the United Nations, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, were also in attendance.

In the statement titled ‘Broad-based African coalition can advance just energy transition, says Osinbajo,’ the Vice President who spoke after a presentation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, and brief comments by the diplomats and country reps, said the plan is geared towards the actualization of a Pan African initiative.

He said, “developing a common African narrative is absolutely important because it sets the stage in providing a clear vision and a clear objective to have a Pan African initiative.

“The broad-based coalition will ensure that the private sector and government work together in driving the processes and the nuances are adequately taken care of. It is important that we factor in all the nuances across the continent.”

Highlighting the progress of Nigeria’s plan, the VP said “there is a great deal of enthusiasm and support for the country’s energy transition plan.”

He also noted that the Federal Government has adopted intentional approaches including the setting up of an Energy Transition Office, among others to coordinate the processes.

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Speaking earlier, the Minister of Environment, Mohammad Abubakar, emphasised the need for a Pan-African transition plan that will ensure a shared vision on the continent’s position at the forthcoming Climate Change conference.

He assured development partners and members of the G-7 countries of Nigeria’s firm commitments to the net-zero emission targets.

Similarly, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said while authorities make effort to ensure stability in fiscal and monetary policies, stakeholders especially in Africa must “define our common interest and leverage existing opportunities to build new partnerships.”

In his remarks, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Matthias Schmale, commended the leadership of the Vice President in developing and implementing an energy transition plan, pledging the UN’s support towards its actualisation.

On his part, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard said the United States would support initiatives aimed at creating a conducive environment for investments in the sector.

She acknowledged the emergence of a movement championing a common initiative for Africa’s energy transition, describing Nigeria’s plan as a manifestation of the country’s position on energy transition.

The UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said in addition to what her country planned to do in the area of off-grid solutions, more UK investors have indicated an interest in the country’s renewable energy sector.

Also, the World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Shubaham Chaudhuri, commended ongoing efforts to reform Nigeria’s energy sector and called for more investments in off-grid solutions while pledging the support of the bank for initiatives adopted by the government.

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In separate remarks, the representatives of the European Union, Republics of France, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Egypt, the IMF and the United Nations Development Programme, all commended Nigeria’s leadership towards the actualization of an African initiative for the energy transition.

Top Federal Government officials present at the meeting included the Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu; Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Agba; the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari; and the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, Mr Ahmad Ahmad, among others.