The Director, New Energy at Seplat Energy, Mr. Effiong Okon, has emphasised the need for government to play critical roles in the development of energy industry
He said this in a keynote titled ‘The Transition Towards Energy Sustainability: Strategies and Tools for Developing Countries’ at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference & Exhibition (NAICE) 2023 held in Lagos last week
Okon, who represented the CEO, Seplat Energy, Mr. Roger Brown, also stressed that government had critical roles to play in the development of the energy industry.
According to Okon, the development of Africa’s energy system offers major opportunities to stimulate the creation of decent jobs that require wide-ranging skills.
“The scale of the African energy opportunity is huge and it is right across the value chain, because the entire value chain must work from end to end to deliver energy to customers. But you can see potential problems if governments don’t create environments that allow success to flourish,” the Seplat Energy director said.
He urged governments to provide the right regulatory and pricing frameworks for energy investments to be attractive, ensure security and reliability of the essential infrastructure, and also ensure governance is strong at all levels, so that international partners have the confidence to invest or partner in other ways.
He added: “So, government should choose private sector partners wisely, based upon their competence to do the job properly and to budget. Thus, governments across Africa must look at the entire value chain and focus on enabling success in each of those areas and making sure they all come together so the system works from end to end.
“The scale of universal access to energy across Africa will take a huge amount of investment and much of this investment will be directed towards the private sector. So, this is the end game for Africa’s governments and companies in the energy sector. We need to deliver universal access to energy both for powering homes and for cooking.
“By doing so, we will achieve strong multiplier effects that will drive social and economic development and an improvement in living standards across the continent. This will make a huge difference to Africa. As we do this we need to be mindful of climate change and the need to transition to lower-carbon fuels like natural gas and renewables, and we have to achieve this transition without creating an environmental mess for our children to clear up.”
He said sustainability and energy transition are at the heart of Seplat Energy’s business, and the two remain the cardinal pillars of the company’s strategy.
He added: “We are a Nigerian success story, proving to international investors we can succeed and inspiring others to follow our lead. Sustainability and energy transition are the heart of our business, the two main pillars of our strategy. We believe universal access to energy will transform Africa and we are working towards that goal in its largest economy”