By John Ikani
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote has said that the ongoing disruptions in the international energy industry presents a unique opportunity for the Nigerian oil and gas industry to attract investments and serve as one of the leading hubs to meet global energy needs.
Engr. Wabote stated this recently in a lecture he delivered at the Society of Petroleum Engineers – Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (SPE – OLEF) 2022 held in Abuja.
According to him, the rush to move the world away from fossil fuels has resulted in first world countries shifting funding away from the development of hydrocarbons towards renewable energy, and energy shortage, causing a decline in the supply of hydrocarbons due to lack of investments, because the pace of the shift to renewable energies is unable to meet world energy demand.
Engr. Wabote pointed out that energy shortage has provided a huge opportunity for the Nigerian oil and gas industry to diversify oil and gas energy hubs, even as it works on adding renewables to the global energy mix to ensure energy security.
He decried the divestment of Integrated Oil Companies (IOCs) and their reluctance to make further investments in oil and gas which has resulted in the repatriation of capital out of Nigeria, lamenting that the development has stifled the nation’s economy of the much-needed foreign exchange and funds to acquire oil and gas assets.
Speaking on the lecture’s theme: “Global Energy Transition: Implications on Future Investments in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry,” the NCDMB boss maintained that the clamour by developed countries to reduce carbon emissions through cutting the utilization of fossil fuels is because those nations have run out of hydrocarbon reserves.
While noting that the outcome of energy transitions has always been the redistribution of the constituents in the energy mix rather than the outright swap of one form of energy for another, Engr Wabote canvassed for a balance between the drive for renewables and new investments in fossil fuels, warning that a misalignment in the transition strategy will result in supply and demand disruptions as witnessed in the current situation in Europe.
The Nigerian Content chieftain who further bemoaned the demonizing or de-marketing of other energy sources and setting unrealistic deadlines for countries to abandon fossil fuels, expressed hope that nations will jealously guard their local sources of energy to ensure it remains in their energy mix for the benefit of its people.