By Joseph Kanjo, Benin
Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, Executive Director, Environmental Rights Actions/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria, Monday called on developed countries to as a matter of urgency put an end to activities of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) facilities in Africa Nigeria in particular, saying they are injurious and negative to the development of renewable energy in the continent, Nigeria inclusive.
ECAs are business enterprises who obtain money from industrialised countries as a loan and deploy such loans to developing countries and forced the recipient countries government to guarantee such loans.
Dr. Uyi Ojo, while briefing newsmen on a research carried out by ERA and four other bodies from different countries on activities of ECAs, described their (ECAs) activities in Africa particularly Nigeria as huge obstacles to development and transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy by developing countries.
He called on African governments to stop the acceptance of fossil fuel projects driven by European countries via their Export Credit Agencies(ECAs).
“We consider the ECAs of the industrialised countries as a huge obstacles to development and transition from fossil fuels to renewable by developing countries.
“Therefore, we are calling on developed countries to dismantle, as a matter of urgency, Export Credit Facilities because they are inimical to development, and they are highly injurious and negative to the development for renewable energy sources in Africa (sic), and Nigeria is one of the countries suffering this. The impacts are so severe.
“The locals have continued to blame especially Shell Oil Company, and the Nigerian government for their impoverishment and human rights violations.
“To ensure improved clean energy access, there is the need for a post-petroleum economy devoid of oil and gas and embracing renewable energy sources to reduce carbon footprints and address climate change impact”, he said.
While stating that as far as energy transition in Africa is concerned ECAs activities have been double standard, the ED noted that from 2013 to 2020 $80b has been given to developing countries-Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Uganda mainly to develop oil and gas, and that only 1% was assigned to renewable energy, adding that this 1% was for Nigeria only.
Further speaking on double standard of ECAs in Africa, Dr. Uyi Ojo said these companies involved in energy development in their countries while undermining that of Africa, saying “they tell us that they are supporting Africa in energy transition whereas reverse is the case.”
He continues, “Secondly, double standard in the sense that they involved in energy transition in their own countries while undermining countries like Nigeria and continually infringing on their development plan with huge debt which they know may likely cripple the countries’ economy.
“Between 2013 and 2020, some industrialised countries have put together over $80billion for Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, and Uganda, mainly to develop oil and gas that is been phased out in Europe.
“ECAs- Export Credit Agencies is a business enterprise purely for business. but the money is given by industrialised countries to these companies as a loan, and they go to the developing countries such as Nigeria and deploy these loans and force the Nigeria government to and other recipient countries to guarantee those loans.”