The Evangelist.com.ng edition, Wednesday December 13, 2023. By Solomon OKPO
Journalists in Akwa Ibom have been charged to create more awareness on energy transition and support government initiatives aimed at raising revenue in the non-oil sectors.
Equally, they have been told to be committed in reporting energy transition, as well as spotlight research findings on home-grown solutions on improving accessibility and affordability of clean energy.
These formed part of the communique during a one-day capacity development workshop for journalists in Akwa Ibom State sponsored by Natural Resource Governance Institute and BudgIT, facilitated by The Dume Newspaper in Uyo.
With the theme, Energy Transition, Setting Agenda for Clean Economy at Sub-National Level, the workshop drew 30 participants from print, broadcast and multinatimadia organizations.
Resource persons included experts from well of Science, Clement Isong Foundation and Development Research and Synergy Initiative while goodwill messages were received from the State Commissioner for information and strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, the State chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr Amos Etuk, as well as a senior officer and focal person for National Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), Mr Tengi George -Ikoli.
The training which sought to build the capacity of journalists in Akwa Ibom to leaverage on and seek improved preparedness for Energy Transition by the Akwa Ibom government, also featured the formation of a media Advocacy Group on Energy Transition (MAGET) and was coordinated by the managing editor of The Dume newspaper, Mr Abasifreke Effiong.
The communique which was co-drafted by Emem Nkereuwem, Ukpong Ukpong and Uwakmfon Dan, also called on the National Energy Transition plan and strive to achieve SGGs 7 Affordable and communities) and 13 (Climate Action).
It tasked the central government and international oil companies to carry out comprehensive environmental audit, remediation, clean up and restoration of host communities ahead of the 2060 energy transition timeline.
Furthermore, it demanded that the State should interrogate decommissioning and abandonment plan for stranded oil assets in it’s communities.
Other demands included a reduction in fossil fuel-based power projects, investment in research and home- grown innovations on clean energy, training and capacity building for youths and women on large-scale renewable energy (Solar hydro and wind) projects, and environmental management, prioritising investment in agriculture, maritime and solid minerals.
The communique further called on government to seek partnership with donor agencies, renewal energy manufacturers, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB)and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to train youths and women, invest and fund clean energy projects.
While calling on the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to immediately commit fines for gas flaring in host communities in Akwa Ibom to the Environmental remidiation of those communities, the group urged management of host communities Development Trusts to invest in green and renewable energy projects.