By Merit Ibe
As the country scales up industrialisation to meet the demand for goods and services, industrial emissions are inevitable, this makes it important to embrace technology that aims to improve energy efficiency which will in the long run reduce green house emissions and set the environment on emission neutrality.
This was the stand of industrial energy and environment experts at an inception workshop organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in partnership with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Speaking at the workshop project themed “Improving Nigeria’s industrial energy in performance and resource efficient cleaner production through programmatic approaches and the promotion of innovation,” the stakeholders disclosed that the aim of the project was to accelerate the adoption of industrial energy efficiency (IEE) and improve enterprise environmental performance under the wider umbrella of Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) best practices and innovative approaches within selected small, medium and large-scale industrial enterprises in Nigeria.
According to them, the inception workshop is to mark the official commencement of implementation and to showcase the importance and benefits of the project to industrial stakeholders.
Speaking at the event, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Tunji Bello, noted that the increase in population and the concentration of industries in commercial zones have led to increase in air pollution and poor air quality.
As a result, Bello said environmental sustainability should not be neglected as it requires active participation of the industrial sector, particularly, which has been demonstrated by MAN, calling for support of the project.
The commissioner disclosed that the highest emitting sectors were stationary energy emissions from energy use in manufacturing, industry and residential buildings which accounts for about 55 per cent of the total emissions in Lagos.
For his part, Jean Bankole, Country Representative and Regional Director, UNIDO, the international energy consumption (IEA) has emphasised that industries will need to reduce their current direct emissions globally to about 24 per cent in comparison to 2007 levels.
He noted that the need to reduce energy consumption, environmental degradation and resource depletion by industries in emerging economies was especially evident, since global growth in industrial production since 1990 has been dominated by emerging economies like India , china, both of which accounted for over 80 per cent of increased industrial production during this period.
Bankole, who was represented by Oluyomi Banjo, an environmental expert, at UNIDO regional office, noted that the outcome of the project is targeted at industries to develop an expert base for Nigeria which could be exported to other countries.
Banjo said the essence of the project is to teach Nigeria industrialists how to manufacture in a responsible manner, introduce technology, house keeping rules, how to minimise energy usage while making more profit, coupled with environmental problems and also increase Nigeria’s capability for cleaner production and energy efficiency.
Director General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, pointed out that introduction of the energy management system and energy system optimisation that could sustainably reduce manufacturers’ energy consumption and cost incurred on energy is a welcome development for stakeholders in the real sector.
The MAN boss lamented the cost of generating alternative energy needs of the industry remains high at about 30 percent of the production cost while the cost of sourcing energy from the national grid has not been business friendly either.
“This is as tariff increment by the distribution companies (DisCos) persist with no corresponding improvement in service delivery.”
He said the project to a large extent will ensure that the tested IEE & RECP methodologies is deployed in a manner that will address the Nigerian realities.
“It is in view of this that we at MAN are proud to be involved in the implementation of this project. Members of the association as well as member companies of other organs of the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) were consulted at the early stage of this project and a number of these companies’ production plants were visited thus showing that the project is not just business as usual but an attempt to provide far reaching solutions through basic housekeeping changes for bigger environmental and economic impact.
He urged participating industrialists to ensure a safer and more efficient industrial sector through successful implementation of this pragmatic approach to environmental protection that this project desires to promote.
National coordinator of the Project, Oladipo Jacob said the
essence of the workshop was multidimensional, saying the workshop would deal with the issues of industrial energy efficiency, resource efficiency and cleaner production which has eluded the country.
“So we are trying to make sure that what ever activities carried out in the country is done with the aim of making gain through efficient use of resources and industrial energy. If less energy is used in production ,you have less adverse effect of energy misuse, which inturn has a less effect on the environment.
Director General, Energy Commission, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala highlighted the commission’s interest in efficient utilisation, saying energy is the bedrock of any nations economy and therefore cannot be free.
“It’s not cheap, it cannot be wasted. It is easier to save than to generate and energy saved is as good as the energy that you generate; that brings us to the importance of the project’s theme which is apt at the moment.
“Any effort to save energy in the industrial sector is a welcome development. The commission will do all it can to support the efforts of UNIDO.”