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Osinbajo urges pan-African coalition to advance just energy transition

Net-zero emissions

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says a pan-African position articulated and promoted by its leaders on a global net-zero emissions target by 2050-2060, will further advance the quest for a just energy transition.

 Osinbajo, in a statement yesterday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said this when he hosted diplomats from the G-7 countries comprising the U.S, UK, Germany, Canada, France, Japan, and also the Republic of Egypt.

Other global agencies like the UN, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), were also in attendance at the meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Vice President, who spoke after a presentation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, and brief comments by the diplomats and country representatives, said the plan is geared toward the actualisation of a pan African initiative.

Osinbajo 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. There is a great deal of enthusiasm and support for the country’s energy transition plan.”

He said the Federal Government had adopted intentional approaches including the setting up of an Energy Transition Office, among others to coordinate the processes.

It is important that we factor in all the nuances across the continent. There is a great deal of enthusiasm and support for the country’s energy transition plan.

Shared vision

Earlier, the Minister of Environment, Mohammad Abubakar, emphasised the need to have a pan-African transition plan that would 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.

 On her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the economic authorities were making efforts to ensure stability of fiscal and monetary policies.

She said stakeholders especially in Africa must define their common interest and leverage existing opportunities to build new partnerships.

In his remarks, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, commended Osinbajo for developing and implementing an energy transition plan, pledging the organisation’s support toward its actualisation.

Similarly, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the U.S. would support initiatives aimed at creating a conducive environment for investments in the sector.

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

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 had indicated interest in the country’s renewable energy sector.

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

In separate remarks, representatives of the EU, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Egypt, the IMF and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), all commended Nigeria’s leadership role toward the actualisation of an African initiative for energy transition.

Also present at the meeting were the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Minister of State for Power Goddy Jedy-Agba; Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Mele Kyari; Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, and a host of others.(NAN)

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