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National Energy Summit: Nigeria retains interest in joining the Energy Charter Treaty

The National Energy Summit of Nigeria, postponed by over a year due to the Corona virus pandemic, took place in Abuja, Nigeria, over two long days on April 13-14, 2021. The Summit was organized by the government of Nigeria, namely by the Energy Commission of Nigeria, with the support of the Energy Charter Secretariat. 

It took place within the bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and the International Energy Charter, supported by Abuja’s voluntary contributions to the Secretariat. The Summit, now in its second edition, is fast becoming one of Nigeria’s  most important gatherings in the national energy calendar of pending events. The Summit was hosted  by the Honorable Federal Minister of Science and Technology of Nigeria, Dr. Ogbonnaiya Onu, and included key note addresses by Prof. E.J. Bala, Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Energy Commission of Nigeria, and Dr. Urban Rusnak, Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat. The event also included many goodwill messages from a range of Nigerian Ministers and other high level dignitaries, as well as from the ECOWAS Commission.

The Summit was held in the form of a ‘hybrid event’, which included speakers and audience on location in Abuja, Nigeria, as well as multiple participants joining live via big screen through video conference. The first day of the event focused on the cooperation between Nigeria and the Energy Charter Conference, providing detailed information about the significant and rapid progress that Nigeria has made along its journey of accession to the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). Nigeria has completed all three of its accession reports to the Treaty and was nearing the ratification stage of accession towards the end of 2019.

However, at that stage, the Energy Charter Conference placed restrictions on ECT accession finalization procedures, placing Nigeria’s accession path into a state of pause. Nevertheless, Nigerian government officials presented the accession reports to the wider audience and it does appear that substantial enthusiasm continues to exist within Nigeria for the country to ultimately joint the ECT.  The second day of the Summit featured multiple presentations on key areas of Nigeria’s energy economy, including the mainstay oil and gas sectors, but also the rapidly growing renewable energy sector and policies furthering the country along the path towards decarbonization.  Dr Monica Emmanuel, Africa Coordinator at the Expansion Unit, provided assistance to the government of Nigeria in organizing the Summit on behalf of the Secretariat.