President Bola Tinubu has emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration between Nigeria and the United States in the pursuit of renewable and other forms of clean energy.
In a meeting with Ambassador Geoffrey Praytt, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Energy Resources, held at the State House in Abuja on Monday, Tinubu expressed his views on Nigeria’s role as an oil-producing nation and the significance of fossil fuel revenue for the country’s economic well-being.
During the meeting, Tinubu assured the United States delegation that Nigeria is committed to fulfilling all its obligations regarding climate change and the transition to clean energy.
He urged the United States and other developed nations to acknowledge the poverty challenges faced by Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
In the pursuit of energy transition, Tinubu stressed the importance of striking a balance between fossil fuels and green energy.
“Nigeria is an oil producing nation and a developing economy that needs revenue from fossil fuel for growth and development. The new energy we are talking about represents just 5% of global energy requirements. We must find the right balance between new energy and fossil fuel because we have problem of poverty in Africa.”
On the nexus between the problem of poverty in Africa and fragility of democracy on the continent, President Tinubu admonished the United States to work with Nigeria to protect the government of the people.
He also urged the Assistant Secretary of State to impress on his home government the urgency of responding to the needs of Nigeria.
“Our democracy needs protection like all other democracies in the world. We cherish our partnership with the US. My concern is whether United States is giving us enough as much as we need. The US should not make us hungry to the point we will have to eat the dinner of our enemy.
“We need the funding support to help us drive and accelerate our energy diversification. There are bottlenecks that must be unbottled in terms of how the US bureaucracy responds to our needs. Help must be given when it is needed. We are ready to learn and develop to join 21st century economy. Please take it home that we need help and very quickly too. I am honoured with your recognition of the baby steps we have taken so far. I want to assure you that Nigeria will honour her obligations on climate change and renewables,” the President said.
Ambassador Praytt in his remarks extolled the bold economic initiatives already taken by President Tinubu with respect to fuel subsidy removal and unification of multiple foreign exchange rates.
He said he was in the country partly to inform the President that President Joe Biden is in support of the steps taken so far by Nigeria to reduce the impact of fossil fuel.
“We are opening a new page in US relations with Nigeria. Nigeria is taking important steps in growing the renewable energy to meet the need of her citizens.
“We are very happy with our work with NNPCL and your team. Your new Special Adviser on Energy is already doing very well,” the US Envoy said.
Earlier in his introductory remarks, Group Managing Director of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, told the President that the Energy Industry in Nigeria had been engaging the US Department of Energy on the energy transition.
Kyari acknowledged the support the Nigerian government received from the US Department of Energy to develop the Petroleum Industry Act.