The Executive Director, Spaces for Change (S4C), Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, says the neglect of oil-producing communities in the Energy Transition Plan (ETP) will be a recipe for renewed violence in the Niger Delta region.
She noted that lack of synergy between the energy transition plan and oil-producing communities has suffered catastrophic environmental damages due to decades of exploring fossil fuels.
“If the communities are neglected in the ETP, this is a recipe for renewed violence in the region.
“The Niger Delta region is the most polluted in the world due to gas flaring and unprecedented oil spillage which has been going on for the past five decades.
“Within 10 years the region has witnessed 9,343 oil spills, Ibezim-Ohaeri said on Thursday while featuring on Arise News Channel monitored by Persecondnews in Abuja.
Persecondnews also recalls that Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) had in August 2022 launched the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan (ETP) where he highlighted the government’s strategy and plans towards achieving net-zero emissions energy system by 2060.
The energy transition plan seeks to tackle the dual crises of energy poverty and climate change, also seek to deliver universal energy access by 2030.
But Ibezim-Ohaeri while answering questions on the TV channel, said: “The energy transition plan has been developed as a pathway for Nigeria meeting its climate change target by 2060.
“The plan made a lot of promises, they promised to create 800,040 new jobs, they promised to establish 5 million solar connections, they promised to lift 100 million people out of poverty, they promised to achieve full energy security for the entire population.
“Too many promises prompted us to research to see what is in it for the communities because if these targets are met Nigeria will be saying goodbye to depending on crude oil.
“So what will happen to these communities where crude oil have been extracted for over five decades? Are we just going to say goodbye to crude oil and leave the communities in the way and in the state they are?”
According to her, within 10 years the Niger Delta region, home to over 20 million people, has witnessed 9,343 oil spills compared to 10 incidences experienced in the European Union in 40 years.
She noted that this has resulted in the poisoning of the waters, destruction of vegetation and agricultural land.
Ibezim-Ohaeri said:” This is why we are drawing government’s attention that the silence in communities, the lack of attention, the lack of arrangements for communities that have been impacted.
“The proposal to move forward without looking back on the mistakes that have been made and correcting the mistakes that have been made they are recipe for renewed violence.”