Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says a Pan-African initiative articulated and promoted by leaders of the continent on a global Net-zero emissions target by 2050-2060 will further advance the quest for a just energy transition.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the vice president said this when he met with 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 was geared toward the actualisation of a Pan African initiative.
“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.
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, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said authorities were making efforts to ensure stability in fiscal and monetary policies.
She said that 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 the leadership of the vice president in developing and implementing an energy transition plan, pledging the UN’s support toward its actualisation.
In the same vein, 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 the country’s position on energy transition.
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 in Nigeria, Shubaham Chaudhuri, commended ongoing efforts to reform Nigeria’s energy sector.
He called for more investments in off-grid solutions while pledging the support of the bank for initiatives adopted by the government.
In separate remarks, the representatives of the EU, Republics of France, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Egypt, the IMF and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), all commended Nigeria’s leadership toward the actualisation of an African initiative for energy transition.
Top federal government officials present at the meeting included the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State for Power Goddy Jedy-Agba.
The Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari and the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, among others were also at the meeting.