President Bola Tinubu has called for a stronger and better cooperation with the United States, as Nigeria and the rest of the world move in the quest for renewable and other sources of clean energy.
He spoke during a meeting with United States Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Energy Resources, Ambassador Geoffrey Praytt, at the State House, Abuja on Monday.
President Tinubu presented his own perspectives to the US delegation on the role of Nigeria as an oil producing country and the importance of revenue from fossil oil to national economic well-being.
Nigeria, according to the President, will honour all its obligations to climate change and quest for clean energy.
President Tinubu appealed to the United States and other developed nations to recognize that Nigeria and Africa have a challenge of poverty that must be addressed, saying in the race for energy transition, the world must have a right balance between the fossil fuel 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.