School of Ecology’ prepares Nigerians for life after oil

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By Innocent Eteng

If oil is no more, what would the oil states do? This question has agitated the minds of oil states for years but the reaction to it has been mild in terms of alternative economy.

Now, an environmental think tank, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has undertaken the burden of preparing Nigerians for survival after crude oil goes on extinction. Some experts have however said oil may not just fizzle out because other uses would still linger.

In Port Harcourt yesterday (Wednesday, August 29), HOMEF did this through the second phase of its School of Ecology that basically trains young Nigerians to think and seek alternative economic and energy options away from oil.

The maiden edition of the school took place last month in Benin. The training in Port Harcourt, which had more than 30 students in attendance, focused on the political economy of fossil fuel and development, the treadmill of economic empowerment and diversification in Nigeria, environmental monitoring, energy alternatives, and the importance and dangers facing biodiversity.

According to the director of HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, the School of Ecology rose from a research project embarked upon by the foundation and culminated into a report that further showed that:“Dependence particularly on petroleum
resources – oil and gas – has blindsided policy and actions over the years and led to the ignoring of other productive economic sectors.

“We reached the conclusion that within a few more decades, oil will become a stranded asset, the nations of the world will move on to other sources of energy and if we do not plan for this transition
we will face a bleak future. This made us embark on actions to chart the pathways to Life After Oil.”

Nnimmo added that the school is playing a significant role and its essence is based on the fact that: “Oil is a scanty resource” and therefore “alternative ways should be sought. “

One of the facilitators, Ken Henshaw, noted however that “Life after Oil” does not mean oil will no longer be in sight, but that its value will be lost. He estimated that in the next 30 years, the value of oil must have ebbed to zero.

“The stone age didn’t come to an end because there were no stones. So the oil will come to an end even when there is still oil,” Henshaw said.