By Aliu Akoshile
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, has commended the German-Nigerian Hydrogen Office for its commitment to strengthening energy partnership between Nigeria and Germany.
Engr. Aliyu spoke on Thursday at the First German-Nigerian Symposium on Green Hydrogen held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja, and which was attended by critical stakeholders in Nigeria’s energy sector.
The Minister said “Nigeria is keen on exploring the possibilities the nascent hydrogen economy could create for her energy transition, adding that the Federal Government was interested in establishing a fruitful dialogue with Germany” on Green energy.
Also speaking at the symposium, Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi, said his Ministry is coordinating the strategic implementation of the Nigerian Government’s Energy Transition Plan (ETP) in partnership with relevant stakeholders.
He said, “Green Hydrogen, as a low carbon fuel, has been identified to play a major role in the energy transition towards decarbonization and reducing the speed of global warming, as well as meeting the global climate targets based on the Paris Agreement”.
The Minister of Environment who was represented by the Director of the Department of Climate Change, Dr. Iniobong Abiola-Awe, reaffirmed the commitment of the Nigerian government to Climate change mitigation andadaptation as Africa prepares to host COP27 later in the year.
In his remarks, the Director-General for Climate Diplomacy, Economic Affairs, and Technology, German Federal Foreign Office, Oliver Rentschler, said the partnership will not only enhance the dialogue on green hydrogen but will also deepen the economic relations on the expansion of renewable energies between Nigeria and Germany.
In her remarks, the Country Director, GIZ Nigeria & ECOWAS, Ina Hommers explained the intervening role being played by organisers of the Symposium.
She said the German – Nigerian Hydrogen Office was set up to support Nigeria in exploring the potentials of green hydrogen and thereby fostering the sustainable transformation of the country’s industry and economy.
In address of welcome, the Head of the German – Nigerian Hydrogen Office, Gina Lagunes, said Nigeria has huge potentials for energy economy.
“To ensure future economic stability”, she said, “Nigeria, as a traditional fossil fuel exporting country with existing oil and gas infrastructure and know-how, can use this trend as a momentum to transition towards sustainable energy”.
Ms. Lagunes explained that the Hydrogen Office undertakes many tasks including facilitating political dialogue, engaging all relevant stakeholders in the conversation, capacity building, and cooperating with the private sector to empower companies to get involved in the new market for hydrogen and its derivatives.
She noted that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change considers the global energy transition to be the backbone of increased climate protection, adding that all stakeholders are pledging their commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of climate-neutral energy sources.
She said traditional fossil fuel exporting countries like Nigeria might use changing demand patterns as a springboard to transition to sustainable energy industries, such as green hydrogen and its derivatives for future economic stability and meets the net-zero emissions targets.
The one-day symposium on Geeen Hydrogen featured two panel discussions on “the transformation towards green power and hydrogen in Nigeria” and “private sector as a key player in the energy transition”.
The first panel discussion was moderated by Jochen Luckscheiler, Head of Nigeria Office, Heinrich Boll Foundation, while Katharina Felgenhauer, Delegate of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria moderated the second panel discussion.
The panelists are Engr. Temitope Dina, Chief Electrical Engineer, Federal Ministry of Power; Dr. Iniobong Abiola-Awe, Director of the Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment; Engr. Anthony Ezekwe, Manager, Feedstock Renewable Energy Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd; and Oliver Rentschler, Director General of Climate Diplomacy, Economic Affairs and Technology, German Federal Foreign Office.
Other panelists are Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, Principal, Nigerian Energy Transition Office, Office of the Vice President of Nigeria; Mr. Oluyomi Banjo, Environment expert, Nigerian regional office Hub for ECOWAS, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO); Mr. Tiriah David-West, CEO of Artery Resources; and Mr. Seun Suleiman, MD, Siemens Energy Nigeria.
The intensive one-day symposium was attended by high-profile stakeholders from the public and private sectors including Dr. Sanusi Ohiare, Executive Director of the Rural Electrification Fund, and Prof. Abubakar Sani Sambo, former Director General, Energy Commission of Nigeria.
The Hydrogen Office was established to expand the activities of the German-Nigerian Energy Partnership.
It forms a part of the Global Hydrogen Diplomacy (H2-Diplo) project, which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and financed by the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).