INTERVIEW-Nigeria needs to 'be ready' for oil decline, says environment minister

(Reuters News, 18 Dec 2019) "If the world is truly willing... to quit fossil fuel, then if you are not ready and finally the world comes to terms with that and there are alternatives and no one is buying enough oil from you, at that point you are in trouble".

Nigeria, Africa's largest oil-producing country, understands it will have little choice but to wean its economy off a reliance on fossil fuels as the world inches onto a low-carbon path, its environment minister said.

Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar said he did not see a long-term future for Nigeria's oil industry if governments follow through on their promise under the 2015 Paris Agreement to cut planet-warming emissions to net-zero by the second half of the century.

"These days, anything to do with fossil fuel... may have its days numbered, or years numbered," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation at this month's U.N. climate talks in Madrid.

Abubakar said Nigeria should use the royalties and export earnings it receives from oil - which account for about half of its revenues - to invest in alternative sources of energy, in order to "be ready" for a global transition to cleaner energy.

"If the world is truly willing... to quit fossil fuel, then if you are not ready and finally the world comes to terms with that and there are alternatives and no one is buying enough oil from you, at that point you are in trouble," he said.

Africa's most populous nation has started to diversify into renewable power generated from solar, wind and waste and is moving its universities onto solar power systems, he added.

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Reuters News, 18 Dec 2019: INTERVIEW-Nigeria needs to 'be ready' for oil decline, says environment minister