FORMER President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Mr Peter Esele, has said that the country should strive to discover itself in the global emerging talk about energy transition.
He gave the advice on Thursday in Benin City while speaking on the backdrop of the African Energy week, currently going on in Cape Town, South Africa.
He stressed that Nigerians and indeed Africans must look at things from their strategic national interest.
He noted that the country and other African countries would have been way ahead of where they are presently in the renewable energy drive, but for paucity of funds.
“Africa is broke. So when you talk about investment it’s going to come from outside.”
He lamented that Nigeria did not take advantage of the natural resources in the country to invest in them.
“Now, we had coal all these years, dirty energy as they call it, but we didn’t invest in coal.
“We have more sunlight; we didn’t invest in it as in terms of generating power from the sun.
“Now, the world is telling us that we have to transit; that is why I keep emphasising that we cannot do transition the way Europe and America are talking about, because we don’t have money.
“Take oil and gas out of Nigeria, what is left of Nigeria?
“So, if we are talking about energy mix, it’s for the world, America and Europe, to say, look we are bringing xyz billion dollars, this is what we are investing, so that makes it easier for us to transit.
The former PENGASSAN President also stressed the need for the country to look at what her universities were doing as well as their research.
“Looking at our budgets in this part of the world, our budget is to spend and not to create wealth.
“Take a look at the budget of the country since the civilian administration, there is no money for research, not even renewable energy nor for investment in that sector,” he said.
He further canvassed that tree planting should be encouraged to contain climate change.