By Godfrey Bivbere
The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, has called on African countries to begin to prepare for a world beyond crude oil so as not to be caught unawares.
Peterside gave the advice while delivering a paper at the Africa Regional Workshop with the theme, the effect of Global Energy Transformation at one of the workshops during the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference, OTC in Houston, Texas, United States of America.
Peterside called on all African countries to invest in research so that the advent of renewable energy would not take the continent by surprise.
He also said that the NIMASA was working at developing policies that would see to a smooth transition from the regime of intense wet cargo operations in preparation for the inevitable era of renewable energy which may see less activity in crude oil exploration and exploitation in the country.
In his words, “As government and people, we must begin to invest in research. We must invest in quality tailor-made education for a future without much income from fossil fuel and focused mainly on harnessing potentials of renewable energy which abound in our country.”
He also disclosed that partnership with other agencies of Government to undertake research and project into the immediate and long term future of the Maritime industry in Nigeria was part of NIMASA’s preparation for the future with less income from exploration and exploitation of the oil and gas sector.
“We propose policies to promote the transition to clean and renewable energy. We have accepted the inevitability of renewable energy in years to come,” he added.
Peterside further stated: “Our partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board to identify the types of vessels that Nigerians should acquire in order to guarantee good business and return on investment in the immediate and long term is part of our focus on the future. We are investing in research to determine the opportunities and threats that will come with the inevitable shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy”.
However, while making an energy demand forecast in Africa to increase by 60% in 2030, Peterside said hydrocarbons will continue to play a role in the energy mix that will satisfy Africa’s growing energy needs adding that the shift to renewable energy as source will also be signed by the year 2030.
He urged African countries, particularly Governments in West and Sub-Sahara Africa, to lay much emphasis on technology-driven process, research and education.