From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
Nigeria’s solar power project will create 250,000 jobs, electrify five million homes and give 25 million Nigeria access to clean electricity by 2023, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured.
The vice president made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday at the Seplat Energy Summit 2021.
He said the implementation of the project was underway with several sites commissioned and being executed by the private sector with support from the government of Nigeria; in line with the government’s energy transition agenda.
The VP called for pragmatic efforts to change and expand the electricity sector infrastructure to allow for increased use of variable sources, system flexibility and electrification of new services mainly for transport.
‘All these are included in nationally-determined contributions. The transport sector is being decarbonised by the industrial sector, and as the chairman said earlier, the gas expansion plan of the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources is all part of us routing our nationally determined contributions,’ Osinbajo stated.
‘This is why at the President’s heart is the need to reduce energy related carbon emissions to limit climate change. To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, which Nigeria at least subscribed over the next decade, every aspect of the national energy system is expected to be affected by changes in climate and energy policy, financing, continuous technological advancements, and shifts in energy supplies, and demand.
‘However, the transition needs to speed up significantly and broaden its scope to achieve SDG seven and align with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change; while at the same time achieving implementation of the 2020-2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, those energy transitions can no longer be limited to incremental steps. It must be a transformational effort, a system overhaul based on rapid upscaling and implementation of all available technologies to innovate for the future.
‘I would like to disclose that Nigeria also developed an energy compact, which was presented at the high level dialogue on energy at the just concluded 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. By this Nigeria joined the League of the global debate to explore the central driver for economy and social development as well as environmental and climate issues. And its position to influence the scale and nature of investments across the economy, long term climate goals and economic opportunities associated with the energy transition.
‘And this is the right moment to reassess the long-standing assumptions, perceived barriers, default and default decisions. The imagined energy system must promote resilient economies and societies for a more inclusive and equitable world,’ Osibanjo explained.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote, said it will take Nigeria 30 years to transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy, calling for strategic planning to achieve that.
‘It is important for us to note that the world is facing an energy crisis particularly in Europe because when you look at the statistics Europe is the largest consumer of fossil fuel in terms of energy.
‘It is a dilemma for them to sort out. But when you look at Africa in terms of consumption, it is perhaps the least. Therefore, it will not be eliminating carbon emission. It has to be called an energy remix. When you look at the years in which we transit from coal to oil, it is about 160 years and today Nigeria is very rich in gas and if we want to transit successfully as a country then we must transit our destination fuel to gas. But this cannot happen if we sit down and continue to have this conversation without taking action because when it went from coal to oil, we did nothing and we were forced to follow the trajectory. Now if it moves from oil to renewable, we will also be pushed to focus on renewable and abandon our God given resources,’ Wabote stated.