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Extractive industry stakeholders have said that as a country dependent on fossil fuels, Nigeria needs to develop its own strategy to commit to shifting global attention away from oil.
That was the conversation at a recent one-day workshop on capacity building for media and civil society organizations in Nigeria, organized by the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development, through of its program on natural resources and extraction, in partnership with the Institute of Natural Resources Governance.
The hybrid workshop, themed “Oil Dependence in Nigeria: Imagining a Future Beyond Oil,” brought together over 50 participants, including extractive sector journalists, CSOs and social media influencers.
The workshop, according to the organisers, aimed to improve understanding of oil dependency and the link to the energy transition in order to better communicate the impact on Nigeria and the Nigerian economy.
The Senior Officer of NRGI, Ms. Tengi George-Ikoli, explained that Nigeria is at a critical point in its development. Therefore, as a country dependent on fossil fuels, it is important that Nigeria develops its own strategy to engage the global attention shifting away from oil.
“Nigeria must develop its own medium to long-term strategy to mitigate the likely losses in exports and government revenue from a shrinking market base as these countries seek to reduce their dependence on oil beyond 2030.
“Nigeria must make strategic decisions in how it spends its limited income, take economic diversification more seriously, take advantage of regional and global opportunities beyond oil and include new border opportunities available in the green economy. “, she said.
Further, Mr. Akintunde Babatunde, Deputy Director of Development Practice, CJID, said that with the persistent energy transition globally, Nigeria, as a monolithic economy dependent on fossil fuels, must prepare for what switching to cleaner energy sources means for its economy.
“The data tells us that Nigeria is likely to lose the majority of its foreign exchange revenue and revenue to the federal and sub-national government.
“In fact, this is already happening, because Nigeria is at a critical point in its development process, it is important for professionals to discuss the way forward on how the decisions we make as a country are more important than ever,” he said. .
Earlier, the Acting Executive Director of CJID, Tobi Oluwatola, stressed the need to build the capacity of media and CSOs, noting that they are in the best position to enlighten the public with an informed perspective.
“It is time for civil society organizations, journalists and policy experts to have this discussion, especially as Nigeria plans to achieve net zero by 2060. There is a need for CSOs to be empowered good skills to be able to do the work of advocacy and accountability in Nigeria,” he said.