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Fossil fuel will remain with us for a long time to come ~Wabote

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The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simibi Wabote has described pegging a fixed date for the end of the production and use of hydrocarbon by European and developed countries as a declaration of war.

Wabote, who spoke at the African Local Content Investment Forum, in Lagos on Monday, noted that fossil fuel, which has largely contributed to the development that the world is  witnessing today must not be castigated into extinction.

Wabote said that the quest for energy transition as it is being advocated in some European countries and other parts of the world is now taking center stage, and as this strength progresses, the hydrocarbon resources in Africa is becoming the endangered resources.

“Whereas the addition of new form of energy into the mixture of options available for utilization by mankind has always followed a normal course of acceptance and adoption, this is the first time a group of nations in the name of mankind is setting deadline for adoption of one form of energy to the detriment of the other.

“This has never happened in the history of mankind,” he said.

According to him,  at the COP26 event held in Glasgow in late 2021, these countries made commitment on behalf of the rest to curb emissions, align the finance sector with the net zero by 2050, ditch combustion engines, accelerate the phase out of coal, and end international financing of fossil fuel.

“This is perhaps to put it mildly, a declaration of war,” he said.

“Before, the discussion was on endangered species, now, it is endangered resources, and if you extrapolate that, it is endangered continent.

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Already, some European banks are pulling out of hydrocarbon development projects, and most of the international operating companies are shying away from investments in hydrocarbon projects to avoid backlash from green energy activists.

According to him, these unfolding scenarios are of huge concern to African leaders and policymakers in the oil and gas industry.

He, however, called on African governments and stakeholders to work towards the growth and development of the African continent.

“I wish to reiterate that there is genuine battle for the soul of hydrocarbon industry in Africa. We must all rise to save the industry, or standby while it perishes right in front our eyes.

“We need to build on the good initiative which is already in place to increase the pool of funds available for hydrocarbon projects, and also motivate credible investors to pick interest in the industry.

“There must be a means of aggregating the various funds being projected by development finance institutions, banks and other agencies, so that the transactions can be carried out.

“While the activists are demonizing the oil and gas industry, our message is consistent with the effect that fossil fuel will not disappear or be transited from the energy mix so soon.

“The business model in oil and gas industry in Africa must change to the one in which there are deliberate in-country value addition to reduce or eliminate reliance on crude exchange,” he added.

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