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Seplat advocates for improved electricity to boost economy

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The Director of External Affairs and Social Performance at Seplat Energy, Chioma Afe, has emphasized the critical role of expanding electricity access in driving Nigeria’s economic growth. 

She highlighted the detrimental impact of high diesel imports on the country’s foreign exchange reserves, citing data from the International Trade Centre indicating Nigeria spent $5.26 billion on electrical machinery and equipment between 2020 and 2021.

According to The PUNCH, Afe underscored the importance of reliable and affordable electricity as a prerequisite for investment across various sectors, including manufacturing and technology. She also pointed to the potential for reduced foreign exchange expenditure by replacing imported diesel generators with cleaner energy sources.

Addressing the broader context of energy consumption, Afe noted the rising incidence of solar panel thefts, exacerbating Nigeria’s environmental and economic challenges.

She advocated for a shift towards cleaner cooking fuels, such as LPG or electricity, to mitigate air pollution, improve health outcomes, and empower rural women.

Afe emphasized Seplat Energy’s unwavering commitment to fostering strong partnerships with host communities. 

She described the company’s community relations model, established in the 1990s, which recognizes host and impacted communities as equal partners in their social and economic advancement.

 “This issue extends beyond fossil fuels, as evidenced by the increasing prevalence of solar panel thefts, which exacerbates the nation’s already severe environmental and economic problems.

“Furthermore, as biomass is a major cause of air pollution, preventable health issues, needless deaths, deforestation, and biodiversity loss, we need to encourage more Nigerians to cook with cleaner energy instead of biomass,” she said.

Recalling her own upbringing in the Niger Delta during the 1990s, Afe acknowledged past perceptions of foreign oil companies prioritizing profit over community development. 

From the beginning, we created a strong model for community relations that has protected our autonomy and acknowledged our host and affected communities as equal partners in their social and economic advancement,”

“This perception, whether accurate or not, is one of the main factors contributing to the extremely challenging operating environment. Up to 25% of output may be siphoned, according to estimates of the prevalence of theft, vandalism, and sabotage,” she added.

She ecognized these perceptions as contributing factors to the challenging operating environment, with estimates suggesting up to 25% of production losses due to theft, vandalism, and sabotage.

 

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