By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has called for diversification of Nigeria’s energy source from its current dependence on fossil fuel to exploitation of solar, hydro, biomass and wind.
According to him, renewable resources in the country can easily be exploited and transformed into electricity, fuels and heat, adding that the large scale exploitation of renewable energy resources will promote better mix of the nation’s energy supply.
Speaking at the technical validation workshop on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) action agenda, jointly organised by the Energy Commission of Nigeria, the UNDP and NEPAD, in Abuja, he said meaningful industrialisation of the country can be realised with diversification of its energy sources.
The minister said: “We have relied essentially on natural gas for the generation of electricity. This has created a lot of problems for the nation, particularly when gas supply is interrupted in anyways including the breakage of gas pipeline.”
According to him, “The geographical location of Nigeria in the tropics gives it great advantage in utilising solar energy and also wind energy.
Government, the minister said, will exploit other renewable sources of energy, adding virtually all the developed and emerging countries including the United States of America, China, Germany and Russia, rely heavily on coal for electricity generation.
Onu noted that the workshop has become imperative in helping the nation meet the huge energy needs of its populace and industries, adding: “I urge you all to put your very best in the course of this workshop. Your recommendations would be useful to both the ministry and the nation.”
In a remark, the Director General of the Commission, Prof. Eli Bala, stated that energy is essential in driving and growing national economies as well as improvement in standard of living of mankind.
On why the SE4ALL is important is the country’s current dispensation, he said: “However, secured, available and affordable as well as sustainable energy has eluded many economies including that for Nigeria.
“It is against this background that UN secretary General, in September 2011, pronounced the SE4ALL initiative , with the view to bringing all sectors of society , private, government, Civil Society and the Academia to support the three interlinked objectives of ensuring universal access to modern energy services by 2030.”
In his keynote address, the lead consultant, ECOWAS Commission, Prof. ken Ike, called stakeholders to support the project assuring that implementing all the recommendation with time lines put an end to energy poverty in Nigeria.
He called on the government to provide the enabling environment for private sector in invest in the energy sector, as the country has in abundance all energy sources.