Tuesday, 1 July 2014

‘100 million Nigerians have no access to electricity’

Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo

The Director, International Centre for Energy and Environment Development, Mr. Ewa Eleri, has said about 100 million Nigerians have no access to electricity.
He disclosed this in Abuja during a one-day workshop on renewable energy, organised by Winrock International.
The event was held under the theme ‘Renewable energy and energy efficiency project’ where stakeholders in the power sector called for an improved policy that would encourage the development and marketing of renewable energy in Nigeria.
Eleri said only about 18 per cent of the Nigerian population had access to power.
He also shared the view of other stakeholders on renewable energy, stressing that it was to actualise the government’s 75 per cent connection target by 2020.
He regretted that unlike Kenya and South Africa where government policies had promoted the development of renewable energy, Nigeria had yet to put in place policies that would work towards the actualisation if its 75 per cent target on use of renewable energy.
According to him, the sector needs policies that will create players who can promote renewable energy.

A representative of Winrock international, Mr. Segun Adaju, who gave an overview of the project, said apart from providing technical support to stakeholders, it (the project) would also benefit the agricultural sector, banks as well as providing alternative sources for the fight against HIV AIDS.
Adaju also urged banks to key into the project by doing business with the clean energy sector.
He said, “With our 75 per cent target for the use of renewable energy in Nigeria, a well improved government policy would be required to actualise this project.
“There is a need to have policies that would help to develop the sector and promote the efforts of renewable energy in the country as it is done in countries like Kenya and South Africa where duties on technology has been abolished.”
He said the team was currently discussing with the General Hospital at Abaji in the Federal Capital Territory to introduce solar energy.
“Also, we in talks with some Nigerian banks to finance and do business with the clean energy sector,” he added.
The Director of Economic Growth, United States Agency for International Development, Ms. Sharon Pauling, while declaring the workshop open, said that USAID’s renewable energy project would among other benefits facilitate the development and financing of the project, as well as promote energy efficiency market.
According to her, it will also enhance the capacity of key stakeholders, including financial institutions and universities.
Pauling noted that Winrock would through the project provide technical assistance that would contribute to its broader goal of developing renewable energy in the Nigerian market.
The representative of Nigeria Independent Power Company, Aminu Takuna, said it was regrettable that many Nigerian banks were reluctant in financing renewable energy projects.
He disclosed that there was an ongoing policy reform in the renewable energy sector, adding that the NIPC would soon forward it to the National Assembly.

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