Increasing electricity access crucial for driving investment – Seplat Energy Director

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Increasing electricity access crucial for driving investment - Seplat Energy Director
Increasing electricity access crucial for driving investment - Seplat Energy Director

Seplat Energy’s Director of External Affairs and Social Performance, Chioma Afe, has expressed concerns regarding the negative impact of high diesel imports on Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves.

Data from the International Trade Centre reveals that Nigeria spent $5.26 billion on importing electric generating sets, transformers, vacuum cleaners, hair clippers, and other electrical machinery and equipment in 2020 and 2021.

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s data indicates a decline in the country’s foreign exchange reserves, reaching $33.23 billion by the end of the third quarter of 2023.

This represents a year-on-year decrease of $5.01 billion compared to the $38.25 billion recorded in September 2022.

Afe highlighted the importance of increasing access to electricity for driving Nigeria’s economic development, emphasizing that reliable and affordable power is crucial for investment in various sectors.

She noted that imported diesel generators contribute to the drain on the country’s foreign exchange.

Afe stated, “It will also displace the imported diesel generators that are currently choking our homes and cities, and a major drain on the country‚Äôs foreign exchange through the imported fuel on which they run.”

Addressing broader issues beyond fossil fuels, Afe pointed out the rising incidence of solar panel thefts, contributing to economic and environmental challenges.

She emphasized the need to encourage cleaner energy usage, such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or electricity, to reduce pollution, improve health, and empower rural women.

Seplat’s commitment to strong partnerships with host and impacted communities was highlighted by Afe, who stressed the company’s role as an equal stakeholder in the economic and social development of these communities.

She acknowledged the historical perception of international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta and emphasized the importance of addressing these perceptions to foster a more collaborative and positive operating environment.