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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Ekwueme varsity, Overseas Development Institute to present report on oil subsidy, Nigeria’s energy transition

The Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) London, is holding an online event to present the key messages emanating from recent national research on Nigeria’s subsidy reform and its energy transition agenda.

Professor Chukwumerije Okereke
Professor Chukwumerije Okereke

The CCCD and ODI conducted research that aimed to understand the realities unfolding because of the impacts of fuel subsidy reform and their potential near-term consequences.

The research, which is based on an extensive literature review, economic modelling techniques, and interviews with several leading thinkers in Nigeria, explores the opportunities and challenges associated with subsidy reform in relation to Nigeria’s energy transition agenda.

It also offers a suite of guides for a politically smart, socially inclusive reform and reallocation of public funds, which in the long term could be the first step to planning towards a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels.

It will be recalled that, in May 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the immediate removal of Nigeria’s petroleum subsidy, leading to dramatic increases in end-user fuel prices. While there are compelling justifications for subsidy reform, considerable problems exist about the method, consequences, and sustainability of reform.

Failure to mitigate the short-term socioeconomic effects of subsidy reform will have multi-level consequences across Nigeria’s economy and populations. It could harm the most vulnerable segments of Nigeria’s population and introduce political risks to the sustainability of reform, as experienced by similar attempts by former governments.

A real or perceived lack of transparency in the sector could also make it difficult to determine the various other ways in which state revenues are being lost, which can further hinder sector reform and cause a range of environmental, social, and economic harms.

The workshop will be held on the March 14, 2024, 12:00–13:30 WAT, and will be hosted by Dr. Nwajiku-Dahou, Director of the Politics and Governance Programme at Overseas Development Institute, and Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria (CCCD-AEFUNAI).

Sam Onuigbo, a member of the governing board and Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change of the North East Development Commission, and Eng. Solomon Bulus Maren, National Coordinator of the African Parliamentary Network on Climate Action, are the guests of honour for the event.

Speaking ahead of the event, the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, said that the research is in keeping with the mission of the Centre to collaborate with top-level international partners to undertake high-quality research to generate knowledge that will contribute to climate- resilient and sustainable development of Nigeria and Africa more broadly.

He expressed the hope that the Federal Government would utilise the findings of the research to reform the fuel subsidy in ways that will be fairer, more progressive and better advance the energy transition objectives of the country.

By Elochukwu Anieze, Research Fellow at CCCD-AEFUNAI

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