Nigeria: Don't Block Financing for Gas Investments in Developing Countries, Osinbajo Tells Int'l Community

(file photo).
3 March 2021

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has appealed to the international community not to block adequate financing for gas projects in Nigeria and other developing countries.

Osinbajo made the call on Wednesday at a meeting with a delegation of the European Union (EU) Commission led by its Executive Vice-President, Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, on transition to net-zero emission.

He also said Nigeria will explore the caveat in the EU green energy financing instrument to seek better ways of financing for gas projects in the country.

According to him, "What we see is a growing trend among development financial institutions to withdraw from fossil fuel investment and recently, the World Bank's decision to cease funding for upstream oil and gas development.

"The new restrictions on financing downstream developments appear to be considered by some countries in the West. We believe that well-intended as some of these actions may be, it is clear to us that they would disregard the importance of gas as a means of urgently addressing energy poverty for us and countries such as ours."

The VP further advocated more effective engagements for the net-zero emission.

He said: "A point which I think we can talk about is the sort of support that we hope to get from the EU especially with respect to ensuring that we meet our commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050. Our commitment to energy transition is firm, and we think that for us, it is an area of comparative advantage. So, we are hoping to leverage that. I think that we will again be very happy to work on improving the investment environment to ensure that we are able to work as much as possible with the EU partners.

"A just transition to net-zero emissions, probably one where gas as a fossil fuel is still supported, especially for those of us in this part of the world, is absolutely important, especially as it will enable us to phase out more polluting fuels such as coal and diesel."

On his part, the Executive Vice-President of the EU Commission, Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, spoke on the importance of reviewing investment agreements between Nigeria and the EU, saying that the commission's plan is to increase its external investment capacities.

On the call for sustained financing of gas investments in the country and beyond, he said the decision to phase out investments in fossil fuels was in line with the organization's policy on promoting green energy initiatives.

The EU Commission boss, however, urged authorities in the country to explore the caveat in the financing instruments to seek other ways of attracting investments for projects in the gas sector.

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