The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) has called on stakeholders to increase their commitment to addressing the serious energy poverty in Africa.
The GMD/CEO of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, made these remarks during the 2022 Africa Infrastructure Summit themed“Africa’s Energy Conundrum: A Pragmatic Approach to Net Zero,” organized by the African Finance Corporation in Abuja, Nigeria.
During a panel discussion on Energy Transition at the summit, Kyari and other energy experts advocated for a concerted approach to energy transition to enable Africans to access cheap energy, citing the need for a slow but proper energy transition process on the continent mainly on access rather than net-zero status.
The NNPC CEO challenged developing countries to unite and address the unrealistic expectations of transiting to net zero, adding that African leaders must insist on energy justice.
According to the CEO, NNPC is already leading efforts by Nigeria to rally the much-needed support and cooperation among African nations to champion energy sufficiency and eliminate energy poverty. Moreover, Kyari also championed the integration of Africa’s infrastructure in the region to bolster the continent’s economic growth.
Apart from Kyari, the panel session, moderated by AFC’s Executive Director for Financial Services, Mr Sanjeev Gupta, also included Professor Carlos Lopez from South Africa’s Mandela School of Public Governance, and Mr Temitope Shonubi, Executive Director, Sahara Group.
The panelist said African countries needed to reduce their dependence on external project funding and start looking inwards for financing. In support of the agenda, Shonubi reiterated the need for an effective communication strategy during campaigns with the African population and the transition process, just as Kyari said that poverty needed to be addressed. Meanwhile, the NNPC has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the country enjoys energy security, especially when petroleum products are readily available.