With the successful conclusion of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) themed 'delivering for the people and the planet', one message revibrates across the globe - climate pledges must be matched with action. The event, tagged Africa’s COP, served as an opportunity to showcase what countries are doing to safeguard the planet, and Africa was not left out.
Oando Clean Energy (OCEL), the renewable energy subsidiary of Oando PLC, and part of the Nigerian delegation to COP27, hosted two side events at the Nigeria Pavilion.
The first side-event themed 'Decarbonising an Oil-rich Region: A Case for the Niger Delta was held in partnership with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, National Council on Climate Change, REAN and Stratus Limited. The event had a diverse audience of financiers, partners, Government officials and NGOs. Engineer John O. Agada, Director of Environmental Management, gave the welcome address on behalf of the Honourable Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, whilst Mr. Ademola Ogunbanjo, Executive Vice President, OCEL, made a presentation on OCEL’s sustainable transport initiative specifically targeted at decarbonizing the Niger Delta region.
Conversations on the role of PPPs, climate financing and an enabling business environment intensified at OCEL's second side event, themed ‘Achieving Nigeria’s Net Zero Target: A Public-Private Partnership’. The event organized in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Environment, amongst others, showcased the company's pipeline projects to support Nigeria meet the commitment made by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR at COP26 to hit net zero by 2060.
Furthermore, Mr. Ogunbajo explained how the company's strategic focus is aligned with the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan (NETP). Specifically, supporting the Government's roadmap for the implementation of EVs across Nigeria and its ambition to boost local capacity in the medium term through the construction of an EV assembly and manufacturing plant. He noted that "This is not the age of competition; it is the age of collaboration. We must collaborate, not only between the Government and the public sector but also, within the private sector, if we want to push forward the country’s net-zero agenda".
OCEL's President & CEO, Dr. Ainojie Irune, participated as a panelist alongside the Commissioner for Environment, Kogi State, Mr. Omofaiye Victor Adewale, and the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET), Dr. Nnaemeka Ewelukwa. On the panel, Dr. Irune spoke about how the company’s sustainable transport strategy is a launchpad that will create the impetus for private users to start to migrate to EVs and eventually lead to economies of scale across the nation. He further explained that the future would see a more diverse and dynamic energy mix, less reliance on oil, and a greater focus on creating net zero opportunities using gas and more sustainable energy sources.
In addition, the pioneer Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), Dr. Salisu Dahiru, gave closing remarks by speaking to the importance of OCEL’s pipeline projects. He talked about the fact that even before the advent of the NCCC, many climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives were already being driven by the private sector. He went on to speak about bridging the gaps between Government policy and private sector initiatives, with the first step being creating an enabling environment to ensure the successful delivery of longterm sustainable energy projects.