By Chineme Okafor and Nnenna Akuma in Abuja
The Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has reassured Nigerians that plans by the federal government to provide them with uninterrupted electricity supply would be achieved meticulously, but not with any â€˜magic wandâ€™.
Fashola said there was no magic wand to getting uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians, but that it required a process which involved all stakeholders in the sector including users of electricity conserving and efficiently using whatever energy the country generates.
The minister stated this when he spoke in Abuja at the launch of the National Building Energy Efficiency Code (BEEC) which was developed by the Nigeria Energy Support Programme (NESP) for use in Nigeriaâ€™s built industry.
According to him, improved conservation and efficient use of generated electricity in the country would contribute to the governmentâ€™s plan of incremental, stable, and uninterrupted power in Nigeria, instead of the propensity to waste energy.
He also noted that a revised national building code with all the contents of the BEEC would be launched by the government before the end of 2017.
He explained that the BEEC specifies minimum energy required to achieve energy efficient buildings which in turn impacts on the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigeria, adding that it will complement the revised national building code.
â€œIn our roadmap for the power sector, we have said we want to first get incremental power; the second leg of that roadmap which you can call the medium stage is stable power, when we have had enough power and taken our energy audit to know how many people need electricity and when they need it, we know what is peak and off peak demand, then we now build a redundancy for repair and upgrade.
â€œAs the ambassador has said, there is no hocus-pocus here, there is no magic wand, it is a journey. But even if we have stable power, there is a place the Buhari government wants to take Nigerians to â€“ uninterrupted power, that is the part that deals largely with you and I, that is the part that deals with conservation, reduction of waste, and efficient use of energy,â€ said Fashola.
He further stated: â€œWe donâ€™t have to wait for stable energy before we start conserving (power), even what is not enough now can be optimally utilised if we conserve it. Conservation, waste reduction, and efficient energy use case are critical contributors to increasing supply of energy, stabilising supply of energy and ensuring unfailing supply of energy because whatever is wasted will never be enough.â€
Speaking on the significance of the BEEC in Nigeriaâ€™s built industry, the minister explained that the National Council on Housing has approved its inclusion in the revised national building code, adding that the BEEC was in line with Nigeriaâ€™s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
He said: â€œIf there is any group of people who still deny climate change, they are denying the obvious. The evidence is clear in extreme weather conditions, when it is hot, it is extremely very hot, and when it is raining, it doesnâ€™t rain anymore, it pours.
â€œWe have a role to play, we have seen evidence of it locally. When we talk about energy efficiency, we are not asking people to do government a favour, we are asking people to actually do themselves a favour. Energy efficiency is about cost of living, it is about economy and how much money you spend.â€
In his remarks, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Dietmar Kreusel, noted that with the BEEC, Nigeria could save up to 40 per cent of energy usage in buildings in Nigeria.
Kreusel, stated that using power was as important as generating it, and that Nigeria has a unique advantage of incorporating energy efficiency in her built industry which is still being developed.
â€œEnergy efficiency has been from the onset the mainstay of the EU co-founded Nigeria Energy Support Programme. Gains in energy efficiency are particularly promising in the building sector with a huge demand for new buildings in the years to come in Nigeria. Nigeria can achieve up to 40 per cent energy savings in new buildings with the codes,â€ Kreusel added.