The discourse on energy transition globally has received more attention recently than it did in years past. This is apparently because the world continues to experience negative impact of climate change on human lives, the ecosystem and aquatics, all occasioned by both human activities and natural occurrences. The huge negative impacts of climate change makes a discourse on energy transition expedient.
Beyond the negative impact of climate change which is clearly the reason for this relatively new thinking; a discourse on energy transition, is the alarm that oil revenue will continue to dip steadily following what has become a global march towards a reduction in the use of fossil fuel. There are predictions that crude oil in Nigeria will dry up by 2050. Many other predictions and studies have also indicated that, before 2060, countries of the world will move away from fossil fuel. Those countries still depending on fossil fuel as their economic mainstay will go insolvent.
One instance of such predictions was made in Uyo, Monday, 11th December, by Mr. Gabriel Mfon, the Executive Director, Well of Science Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, at a one-day capacity development workshop for journalists on the theme, “Energy Transition: Setting Agenda for Clean Economy at Sub-national Level”. The workshop which was facilitated by The Dune Newspaper and sponsored by Natural Resource Governance Institute and BudgIT aimed to improve preparedness for energy transition at sub-national level to mitigate the impact of the migration on youths and women in host communities.
According to the Mr. Mfon, data evidence show that in 2012, 13% Derivation to Akwa Ibom was N 150.94bn, but in 2021, the 13% Derivation dropped to N 91.15bn, showing 66% decrease. This shows that the 13% Derivation to the state from 2012 has decreased by 100.88% and will continue to dip tremendously, especially with the readiness and dynamics of some countries to turn their attention to energy transition.
Despite the growing concern that a discourse on energy transition has generated on the global platforms and fora which evidently points to a bleak future for oil dependent countries and States, Akwa Ibom appears to be doing almost nothing to prepare herself for the future. The ARISE Agenda of Governor Umo Eno does not capture, as it were, plans and thinking towards this global issue. Studies have shown that if oil dependent countries and States, like Akwa Ibom continue in limbo, there will most likely face the consequences of such actions which will not be limited to increased borrowing, increase in unemployment, loss of investment, loss of revenue, among others.
One of the major recommendations of the workshop was the domestication of the national action plan on energy transition and the need to incorporate youths and women into its energy transition plan.
It is on this note therefore, that we call on the Akwa Ibom State Government to as matter of urgency begin the process of deliberately working out plans towards energy transition before the State is caught in the web of unpreparedness.
The Nigerian government has an energy transition plan and an implementation framework. Akwa Ibom State Government should align itself with this plan. There must be a robust mechanism for an implementation.
The ARISE Agenda of the Governor should be reviewed and premium given to energy transition in the state. Akwa Ibom can take the lead in incorporating this issue into her blueprint and also commence implementation. What the State will do now will determine the kind of future the present administration will bequeath to the generations yet unborn.