For Nigeria to be among the twenty largest economy in the world by 2020, secured, equitable and environmentally sustainable energy supply for creation of employment, which are inter-related challenges, must be addressed.
This was the position of the Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu during a 2-day technical validation workshop on sustainable energy for all (SE4ALL) action agenda.
Dr. Onu said the Federal Government was committed to accelerate the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the country through the National Energy Policy, the Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP) and the vision 2020-20.
Though he stated that this can be achieved through the transformation of the nation’s economy, from one based mainly on fossil fuel to a low carbon economy based around renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The Minister said though sustainable energy for all initiative which was a global agenda was launched in 2011 during the United Nations General Assembly, it was important for all relevant stakeholders to deliberate in making it an action-plan for the realisation of sustainable energy for all in the country.
The Representative of the United Nations Development Program UNDP Country Director Mr. Muyiwa Odele pointed out that the SE4ALL initiative, will go a long way to complement government's efforts at increasing Nigeria's access to electricity and other modern energy services for economic growth.
Mr. Odele said it has become imperative to meet the energy need of many Nigerians both in the rural and urban areas, through the promotion of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency.
According to him “the UNDP has been working tirelessly in partnership with the Energy Commission of Nigeria ECN and support from the Global Environment Facility GEF to put in place minimum energy performance standards for lighting and refrigerators for regulation of Sub-saharan products”.
“And also the establishment of standard energy efficiency testing laboratories for quality standardization for the Standard Organisation of Nigeria SON”.
Mr. Odele announced that the UNDP and ECN energy efficiency project which is parts of its contribution to ongoing national efforts to rebuild the Northeast which was destroyed by the terrorist group Boko Haram, in off-grid communities has been extended to ten more communities in Adamawa state.
It would be recalled that the UNDP and ECN sustainable energy for all project was implemented in two communities in Hong local government area of Adamawa state benefitted 267 households and two primary healthcare centers.
The Director of the Energy Commission of Nigeria Professor Eli Jidere Bala said the agency has been working with other stakeholders since 2012, when the sustainable energy for all initiative was launched in Nigeria to domesticate the United Nations initiative in the country.
Professor Bala explained that through series of workshops and meetings held since 2012, it was time for the preparation of country-specific action agenda across government ministries and departments, to bridge the gaps earlier identified in line with international template.
Participants drawn from different Federal Government ministries, departments, agencies, international organisations, civil society organisations and the media, were divided into expert groups.
The groups were in the area of energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency and contributed towards the sustainable energy for all action agenda for Nigeria.