From Uche Usim, Abuja
Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources has lauded 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.
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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, Senator (Mrs) 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 our transition fuel, our pathway to net-zero carbon emission.”
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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.
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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.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari; the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva and stakeholders in the Nigerian economy rose in unison to appreciate Seplat’s Tree4Life launch, an energy initiative aimed at tackling deforestation and other environmental challenges that not only vandalise the Nigerian economy, but also inhibit the country from relishing the inherent gains of the global energy transition agenda.
In their respective goodwill messages, the applause reached a crescendo when the company said it would achieve a zero emission in its operations by 2024, which is the Federal Government’s proposed target.
Speaking at the event, Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of State, Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, who herself was represented by Mrs Powell Victoria, said Seplat’s tree planting drive empties into the global environmental protection agenda, aside protecting the Nigerian environment and ensuring sustainable growth and development.
The President reckoned that climate change remains the biggest challenge faced by the world, adding collaborations and that cooperation were needed to aid in reducing carbon emission, guarantee environmental protection and eventually ending deforestation.
“After COP26, Buhari signed a bill on the Climate Change Act in October 2021, aimed at formulating programmes around climate change.
“The law has a legal framework to ensure climate resilience.