The Federal Government says it is working conscientiously to ensure that the country meets the global demands on cleaner energy.
Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, said this on Tuesday at the opening of the 2021 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference holding at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
Osinbajo represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, noted that the country had no option than to move with the global trend being signatory to international protocols on cleaner energy.
He said the Federal Government was leaving no stone unturned at ensuring that the country moved to cleaner renewable energy but that the step must be gradual.
Osinbajo explained that government had already directed stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to focus on natural gas resources as a transition fuel that would function as a bridge between the dominant fossil fuels and the cleaner energy.
“Natural gas has the intrinsic abilities to meet the increasing global requirements for cleaner primary energy use, while at the same time enabling much needed domestic industrialisation for rapid economic growth in very few endowed countries such as Nigeria.
“We are not unmindful of the peculiar challenges confronting the gains from oil and gas operations in Nigeria.
“From infrastructural deficiency and insecurity to high cost of operations, to mention just a few, the government is working conscientiously to tackle all without lagging behind on our path to meeting the cleaner energy global demands.
“In spite of the current global challenges in the industry, government has been supporting the aggressive implementation of the nationwide gas infrastructure blueprint.
“This informed our recent declaration of year 2021-2030 as “the Decade of Gas” after the successful kickoff with the National Gas Expansion Programme in 2020,” Osinbajo said.
Also speaking at the event, Mr Bitrus Nabasu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, who represented the Minister of Petroleum, said the signing of the PIB would help the country to move faster in achieving a cleaner energy.
“The PIB cannot come at a better time than now that the COVID-19 pandemic caused uncertainty in the oil and gas sector.
“We are on the part of witnessing another investment in our oil and gas sector and it will help have a good administration and infrastructure and ensure development of the country to make life more meaningful for the citizens.
“Natural gas will help government achieve it’s aspirations and very soon we will reap the benefits of our decade of gas programme.
“These include auto gas vehicular movement, industrial application, welfare gas pipelines for electricity and domestic usages will help Nigerians even in rural areas to improve life.”
The minister said gas had a lot of role to play in the country’s quest for cleaner energy resources.
Malam Mele Kyari, the Group General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) said investment in the oil and gas industry had dwindled by 30 per cent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kyari said energy transition was not just about moving from fossil fuel to renewable energy but that it was creating the right balance.
“There is this mistake that by 2050 fossil fuel will go away and we will only have renewables; that is not true.
“For us, we know for sure that oil will still be relevant for us because today we have deficit of electricity, infrastructure and so many other things and we have to deal with them.
“We must ensure we produce the quick oil; quick oil means that we have to monetise every resources that is available today, so that we help the resources that will create the future.
“And oil will provide that fulcrum for us to procreate the wealth but one thing we are also sure is that gas is everything.
“So, our focus today is to deepen gas monetisation, not necessarily consumption and that means we have to do both domestic and export, so that we can take value from both ends,” Kyari said.
He said the focus now was to see how to accelerate development and monetisation in gas.
APC PCC commends CBN, Buhari for extension of naira swap deadline
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for extending the naira notes swap deadline.
Buhari on Sunday approved a 10-day extension for Nigerians to swap their old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes for the new ones.
Emefiele announced this after a meeting with the President in his Daura country home.
The extension followed complaints by Nigerians who experienced difficulties getting the new notes via ATMs and over the counter from banks.
The APC PCC, in a statement by its Director, Media & Publicity, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, praised the move.
It said: “We want to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria and Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for listening to the voice of well-meaning Nigerians on the exigency of extending the deadline for change of old N200, N500 and N1000 naira notes to the new ones.
‘Following difficulties experienced by Nigerians from across the country from getting the new notes via ATMs and over the counter from Banks, many Nigerians especially requested an extension of the 31 January 2023 deadline.
“We welcome the 10-day extension of the deadline and the additional seven days of grace.
“This window will enable Nigerians especially those in rural and remote areas to have more time to change their old notes and avert the panic that would have followed.”
It said the President deserved “special commendation” for approving the extension “and for his leadership and statesmanship.”
The APC PCC added: “In the same vein, we praise our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his forthrightness in addressing the concerns of Nigerians at his campaign rally in Abeokuta last week.
“Asiwaju Tinubu didn’t take the easy road by shying away from what would have caused serious inconvenience for our teeming masses.
“Asiwaju showed leadership and compassion for the welfare of Nigerians, at the most appropriate time.”
ASSBIFI commends extension of validity of old Naira notes
The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) on Sunday in Lagos endorsed the extension of the validity of old naira notes from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10.
Its president, Mr Olusoji Oluwole, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the CBN decision to extend the deadline was a step in the right direction.
CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in a statement on Sunday said the CBN added a 10-day extension of the deadline of Jan. 31 to Feb. 10, to allow for the collection of more old notes.
He also noted that Nigerians would still have grace period to deposit their old notes directly with the CBN until Feb. 17.
“It is a step in the right direction, especially in providing more time for the return of old notes after the actual date of invalidation.
“CBN, however, needs to proactively monitor and address sufficient availability and distribution of the new notes.
“It should also increase sensitisation of, and probably incentivising the general public on the cashless policy to reduce the pressure on cash,’’ Oluwole said.
Banks have been contending with increased number of customers rushing to beat the Jan. 31 deadline given by CBN for the return of old naira notes which would cease to be legal tender.
New N200, N500 and N1,000 notes became legal tender on Dec. 15, 2022 after they were unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Nov. 23, 2022.
Many bank customers, however, complained that the new notes were not readily available and have yet to circulate adequately four days to the expiration of the old notes.
New Naira Notes: CBN Extends Deadline Till February 10
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline for the use of the old notes till February 10.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the extension in a statement signed on Sunday.
He explained that the apex bank has sought approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the deadline for the use of the old notes by 10 days.
“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following: A 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31 to February 10 to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians,” the statement read.
“A 7-day grace period, beginning from February 10 to February 17, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender Status.”
The CBN Governor also solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians in ensuring a hitch-free process for the implementation of the policy.
Before the apex bank extended the use of the naira note, many Nigerians experienced difficulty in lodging their old banknotes.
The scramble by many Nigerians to meet the initial January 31 deadline has been chaotic as many of them flood banking halls with huge cash in old notes to exchange them with new ones.
Others are seen in long queues at the few ATM points having the new naira notes in different parts of the country to have access.
The naira redesign was greeted by criticism by some Nigerians, including the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the policy was intended to scuttle his presidential ambition.
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