The Akwa Ibom State Government has been called upon to take the forefront in spearheading energy transition initiatives by domesticating the National Energy Transition plan and aligning with Sustainable Development Goals 7, 11, and 13.
The call was made by the Media Advocacy Group on Energy Transition (MAGET) in a landmark one-day capacity development workshop on Energy Transition, held at the NUJ Press Centre on Monday, December 11, 2023.
The workshop was aimed to enhance the capacity of journalists in Akwa Ibom State to navigate and advocate for a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.
The workshop with the theme “Energy Transition: Setting Agenda for Clean Economy at Sub-National Level,” was sponsored by the Natural Resource Governance Institute and BudgIT, and facilitated by The Dune Newspaper. It featured resource persons from Well of Science, Clement Isong Foundation, and Development Research and Synergy Initiative.
Notable figures such as Ini Ememobong, the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, and Comrade Amos Etuk, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State, delivered goodwill messages at the event.
MAGET, coordinated by Abasifreke Effiong, Managing Editor of The Dune Newspaper, issued a communiqué highlighting key advocacy points. The group urged comprehensive environmental audits, remediation, and restoration of host communities ahead of the 2060 energy transition timeline.
Other advocacy points included reducing fossil fuel-based projects, investing in research and home-grown innovations for clean energy, and prioritising sustainable agriculture, maritime, and solid minerals. MAGET also encouraged the state government to commit to savings in the Reserve Fund and seek partnerships with donor agencies, renewable energy manufacturers, and relevant bodies for youth and women training in clean energy projects.
Furthermore, the group called on the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission to allocate fines for gas flaring in host communities toward environmental remediation. They urged the Management of Host Communities Development Trusts to invest in green and renewable energy projects.
Emphasising the role of journalists, MAGET encouraged media professionals to commit to reporting on energy transition, focusing on research findings and home-grown solutions for improving accessibility and affordability of clean energy. Journalists were also urged to create awareness and support the state government’s initiatives aimed at raising revenue in non-oil sectors.
The high point of the workshop was the inauguration of the Media Advocacy Group on Energy Transition (MAGET).