The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said Nigeria will by 2025 bring down its gas flaring by at least two per cent.
Alison-Madueke disclosed that by 2010, the country had recorded a downward gas flaring rate of 30 per cent as well as against the current rate of 11 per cent, adding that it aspires to bring it further down to two per cent by 2020 and beyond.
The minister said this while appealing to the global community, including the developed world to invest in the development of the burgeoning African energy economy as a means to achieve win-win scenario for the continent and the rest of the globe.
She spoke at a special lecture on the "future of African energy in a changing World" which she delivered at the St. Anthony's College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, at the weekend.
According to a statement Monday from the acting General Manager Public Affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporations (NNPC), Tumini Green, in Abuja, Alison-Madueke stated that unlike in the past when Africa was a ready example of a pitiable basket case, the continent has emerged as a potent destination for investments in oil and gas.
Speaking on gas flaring and environmental pollution in Nigeria, she stated that the country had begun the implementation of mitigation strategies that will over time compensate for years of carbon emissions, adding that Nigeria aspires to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 at the latest.
"This aspiration is already being realised with gas flares now at a significantly reduced level relative to previous levels.
By 2010 it was down to 30 percent and now it's down to 11 percent and would be down to two percent by 2020 and beyond," Alison-Madueke said.
While celebrating the rising profile of African energy in the global energy matrix, the minister explained that the recent flurry of offshore and onshore oil and gas discoveries across the continent has placed Africa on the front burner of the global energy map.
She argued that while it may make economic and geo-strategic sense for a nation to meet its energy needs from domestic sources instead of imports, it may not make so much sense from the perspective of the broad-based global development necessary to ensure the global stability.
She said: "We believe that global stability comes from the balancing of regional interests. To achieve optimal development for the African energy sector, the support and partnership of the industrialised world is critical. This would not only be in the interest of Africa, but also in the enlightened self interest of the global community as a whole.
"We see a win-win outcome when industrialised nations source their energy needs from African nations," Alison-Madueke added.
She further noted that this would enable the wealthy nations satisfy their energy needs while at the same time generating for Africa, the vital export revenue that will make the continent less dependent on foreign developmental aid.
According to her: "Investing in Africa's growth opportunities is undeniably a much better model for providing long-term solutions to Africa's developmental challenges than the grant of charitable aid."