Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has commended Seplat Energy Plc on its recent acquisition of the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) from ExxonMobil Corporation, Delaware, United States of America.
Sylva said such investments, which were underpinned by responsible policies that could ensure achievement of net-zero carbon emission, were commendable and appreciated by the government and good people of Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister gave the commendation at the official launch of `Seplat Energy Tree 4 Life Initiative’ on Tuesday in Abuja.
The tree planting launch was performed by Sylva alongside Seplat’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Roger Brown, Sen. Margrey Okadigbo, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Board Chairman and Dr ABC Orjiako, Chairman, Seplat, among others.
He noted that the Tree for Life Initiative programme was aimed at reducing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“This is a commendable commitment towards net-zero Initiative. Also in line with Mr President’s commitment on net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.
“This requires initiatives such as this being undertaken by Seplat, as well as sustained financial assistance, technology transfer and capacity building from international partners willing and able to assist us in this regard,’’ he said.
He said Nigeria still required fossil fuels, especially gas, as its baseload energy source to address energy poverty and power supply, adding that “gas was declared as the our transition fuel, our pathway to net-zero carbon emission.”
According to him, there are also enablers and initiatives which support the realisation of the full potential of the gas sector.
He listed them to include the development of critical infrastructure and systems – Decade of Gas, Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline, Nigeria/Morocco pipeline, Trans-Saharan Pipeline and the National Gas Transportation Network Code.
Okadigbo, in her remark, said it was commendable that Seplat embarked on the programme at a time the oil and gas sector was facing unprecedented challenges.
She said the industry for many years had been the mainstay of the Nigerian economy and main driver of socio- economic development.
She described climate change as one of the most prominent challenges facing the industry presently, adding that it was imperative to enhance the critical role of oil and gas industry in addressing the issue.
Okadigbo said the Seplat Energy Tree 4 Life Initiative exemplified the way by which the industry could respond to climate emergency.
“Tree planting is a simple and effective way to help reduce carbon emission and restore natural ecosystem,’’ she said.
The NNPC board chairman enjoined the operators and players in the sector to device a climate action strategy to remain relevant in the new dispensation.
She, however listed some key elements in setting up good climate action strategy to include defining baseline for certain climate change target, identifying most suitable initiative and defining man power required.
She added that access to capital should be taken into consideration as well as communication and stakeholder’s engagement, among others.
“More importantly, there should be aligning of goals with the energy transition and carbonisation agenda of government,’’ she said.
NAN reports that the programme aims to restore and reforest solving biodiversity loss, and naturally increase Nigeria’s carbon sequestration.
The programme is in line with Sustainable Development Goals 13 on Climate Action which seeks to reduce greenhouse gasses and fight climate change.
It will boost food security and alleviate poverty through building, strengthening, and empowering communities to plant economic trees, which will provide food and fight hunger, without destroying the environment (SDG 2 – Zero Hunger)