Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will make 600 million Africans who are without electricity a priority in its global energy transition discussions. This is according to the new Secretary-General of OPEC, Kuwait’s Haitham Al Ghais.

Al Ghais made this disclosure at a virtual event where he engaged part of the Nigerian media on his immediate plans for the oil industry after assuming duty as the new head of the organization.

“The African continent has over 1.2 billion population, with over 600 people without electricity. There is an ongoing discussion about energy transition, and the voice of the people needs to be heard and taken into consideration and accounted for.

“In the energy transition, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Everybody’s voice must be represented and everybody must be part of the dialogue, particularly on the African continent,” he declared.

While underscoring the critical role Nigeria plays in OPEC and its pivotal place in the African oil and gas market, he reiterated that with the cooperation of Nigeria and other member nations, OPEC would weather the storms in the global oil market currently.

He further described the ongoing construction of a regional gas pipeline that would convey Nigeria’s gas to Niger, Algeria, and then to Europe as a significant development, stressing that any assistance to be rendered to the continent must be collectively discussed and agreed on by all stakeholders in OPEC.

He said, “In OPEC, the direction is dictated by market conditions, which is what unites OPEC and the wider group of OPEC+, to do whatever is necessary to maintain the market balance.

“Healthy state of the market, which is a balance between supply and demand, is to the benefit of not only the oil producing, but also the oil consuming countries, and the wider global economy.

Al Ghais’ stance on 600 million Africans is set to lessen concerns of energy poverty since global funders and banking institutions have started narrowing their interventions to clean energy.

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