Politics

Osinbajo cautions wealthier countries against defunding gas projects

Osinbajo cautions wealthier countries against defunding gas projects
Written by Maritime First

…. As Aregbesola tasks acting NIS Comptroller-General on securing nation’s borders, passport reforms***

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says efforts were currently underway to limit the development of gas projects in Africa, violating the principles of equity and justice enshrined in global agreements.

The vice president said much of the global investment in clean energy would need to go into Africa and advised that efforts be made to redirect global capital to the continent.

Osinbajo’ s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Tuesday, in Abuja, said the vice president made the submission at a virtual conference under the theme:  ‘Climate, Conflict, and Demography in Africa,’ jointly hosted by the International Crisis Group, the Royal African Society, and Africa Confidential.

Osinbajo had at different forums, raised the issue of financing of gas projects in developing countries, like Nigeria, advocating for a just transition and more effective engagements towards the target of Net-Zero Emission by 2050.

“Because of the role of gas as a bridge fuel, to increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix, and rapidly transit away from firewood-based cooking fuel to natural gas-based cooking, yields both environmental and health benefits.

“We continue to be the most adversely impacted by climate change, so much so that public resources that could help modernise the energy mix has to be redirected towards adaptation spending.

“But worse, we are being compelled to make disproportionately huge sacrifices as the wealthier countries continue full speed on defunding gas projects and insisting that gas projects must be defunded as an important component of the drive towards net-zero emissions by 2030.”

On the amount of investments required in clean electricity – generation and grid storage infrastructure, Osinbajo said that to get the world on track for net-zero emissions by 2050, it would cost more than $1.6 trillion dollars per year by 2030, or four times more than what was invested in these sectors in 2020.

“In regions like Africa, installed electricity capacity will need to double by 2030 and increase at least five-fold by 2050.

“Our first obligation will always be to ensure the wellbeing of our people, through access to development services including electricity, healthcare, education, safe jobs, and a safe environment, including access to clean cooking fuels.

“We must prioritise solutions that align with development and climate agendas; this is absolutely important.

“The global climate conversation can only be equitable and inclusive by putting all people in all geographies at the heart of the endeavour to save the planet.”

The vice president also spoke on the need to recognise and plan for growing energy demand, as this would be

critical for driving growth, jobs and economy-wide progress, and delivering healthcare and education services.

“Efforts are already underway in my country, Nigeria, and in several countries across the continent, to transition to large shares of clean energy sources to do so,” he said.

In attendance at the virtual event were Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, who represented the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, Chairperson of the Royal African Society, Ms Arunma Oteh and Patrick Smith, publisher of Africa Confidential.

The event was moderated by Bola Mosuro, a Nigerian journalist.

In another development, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has urged the acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Idris Jere, to effectively secure the nation’s borders and ensure nobody slipped in from outside to cause any harm.

The Media Adviser to the minister, Mr Sola Fasure, who disclosed this in a statement, on Tuesday, in Abuja, quoted the minister as giving the advise when Federal Commissioners and Board Secretary of the NSCDC, Correctional Service , Federal Fire Service  and NIS Board (CDCFIB), visited his office to present the Acting C-G to him.

Also read: Attack on Custodial Centre: Security forces on trail of perpetrators, inmates — Aregbesola

The media adviser said Aregbesola noted that the primary responsibility of the acting C-G was to lead the service to provide adequate security at the nation’s borders, and curtail any attempts by anyone slipping into the country with intent to cause harm to the country and its citizens.

“It is important also that you ease the passage of persons that will add value to our country. You will maintain the delicate balance of stopping the bad guys and attracting the good guys”, Aregbesola said.

On the administration of passport issuance, the minister stated that Nigerians, who were desirous of getting passports must get it expeditiously and without losing their dignity in the process of doing so.

“You are pretty much aware of the reforms being carried out, foremost of which is in passport administration.

“Being a passport officer, you will appreciate this challenge more than most. I have no doubt that you will be able to drive this reform and accelerate its success.

“The passport is the highest affirmation of Nigerian citizenship. The extent to which we succeed in putting it in the hands of any Nigerian desirous of it expeditiously and without losing their dignity, is the extent to which we succeed as an agency of government.

“There must be zero tolerance of touting and any form of corruption”, the minister told the new C-G.

The minister added that the acting C-G must build on the achievements of his predecessor in office, noting that his appointment as the acting C-G was natural and easy, being the most senior officer.

“He has put in 34 years of service and has been at NIS all his working life. He is, therefore, an embodiment of the institution.

“It is important, therefore, that you prepare your mind for service. Your predecessor made his mark and left giant footprints. You will be assessed against this,” he said.

Aregbesola also rallied the NIS to support the acting C-G and assured him of the cooperation and assistance of the ministry and the Federal Government.

“I enjoin the officers and men of the NIS to cooperate with and assist you in all ramifications and I can assure you of the unalloyed support of the ministry and government in your assignment.”

In his remarks, Jere affirmed his commitment, with the collaboration of officers and men of the service, to deliver on the mandate handed to him.

“Sir, the service is committed to our primary mandate, which is securing Nigeria’s borders and also concluding on the passport reforms initiated by my predecessor in office.

“I will also ensure staff welfare is well taken care of as no reform can be successful outside a well dedicated and motivated workforce.”

The acting C-G joined the service in 1987 patiently and steadily rose through the ranks to be appointed Deputy Controller-General in 2018.

In between, he has held positions as Passport Control Officer and Deputy Controller- General in charge of Finance and Accounts.

 

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