NIGERIA’S minister of state for power Goddy Agba has revealed that a sum of $4bn needs to be invested into the sector annually if the country is to access clean and renewable energy in line with global convention.
A signatory to the 2015 Paris climate Change Agreement, Nigeria is committed to reducing greenhouse gases and this involves moving away from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. However, Nigeria is lagging far behind the rest of the world with initiatives like solar farms, wind farms and generating power from waste.
Speaking at a virtual global power sector players’ conference presided over by the United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, Mr Agba said the Buhari government was desirous of ensuring that there is adequate supply of electricity to consumers. At the moment, Nigeria has a chronic electricity supply problem as the country only generates about 7,000MW, of which it can only distribute about 4,000MW, far short of the 50,000MW required.
Mr Agba said: “Our ambition is demonstrated by the recent removal of the fuel subsidy in Nigeria which now makes the off-grid sector more competitive, as well as the 5m solar connections programme, which was included in the Covid-19 recovery strategy, the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).”
While urging global partners to support the ESP, the minister stressed that Nigeria was taking steps to merge its energy access and transition conversations as the largest un-electrified population globally resides within the borders. He called for access to the un-electrified 85m people using renewable sources to maintain Nigeria and Africa’s low contribution to carbon emissions.
However, Mr Agba declared that financing has been a major constraint, pointing out that the present administration has identified areas of conflicts including accountability, transparency and technical capacity and has gone a long way to address these challenges. He stated that clean and renewable energy was the way to go for sustained power sector reforms in the country to hand over a prestigious legacy to successive governments.
Mr Guterres noted that the global trend for power sector development was clean and renewable energy to unbundle the usual grid supply, which has been insufficient over the years especially in African countries, considering the huge amounts of funds required for sustained supply. He added that the United Nations was prepared to give necessary support to Nigeria considering the position paper presented by Mr Agba, at the conference.
Also speaking at the conference Dr Akunwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank stated that the bank will continue to support public private initiatives to ensure that there is stability in the power sector across African countries. He said the bank has continued to formulate and implement power sector-friendly policies in order to boost manufacturing, industrialisation and the informal sector for sustainable growth and development.