The power sector reform of the present administration has made some remarkable improvement in addressing the challenges associated with instability in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to consumers, with so much emphasis on clean and renewable energy to boost the supply across the country.
Speaking at a virtual Global power sector players conference presided over by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guternes, the minister of state power, Goddy Jeddy Agba outlined the challenges as well as achievements recorded in the power sector in the last five years by the President Buhari-led administration.
The minister told the United Nations and other participating countries as well as financial institutions that Nigeria requires $4 Billion annually to access clean and renewable energy to boost the supply of electricity to consumers. He said our ambition is demonstrated by the recent removal of the fuel subsidy which now makes the off-grid sector more competitive, as well as the five million solar connections programme which was included in the Covid-19 recovery strategy tagged, Economic Sustainability Proramme.
While canvassing position at the conference, the minister urged global partners to support ESP, recently introduced by the federal government to address the huge financial gap created by the global pandemic, stressing that Nigeria is taking deliberate steps to merge its energy access and energy transition conversations as the largest un-electrified population globally residing within the borders of the country.
According to the minister, there are 85 million households that are targeted to benefit from the clean and renewable energy sources, identified to be low in carbon emission, as proven by experts in the power sector, especially the current statistics by the United Nations projecting global access to electricity through clean energy sources.
The Nigerian’s presentation at the conference is the fact that the present administration’s accountability and due process identified corruption as a major setback in the power sector, which gave birth to interventions strategy and presidential committees to check unwholesome practices, which has led to remarkable improvement in the sector.
Clean and renewable energy is the way to go to achieve a sustainable power sector reform that will boost growth and development in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, especially if the present administration is poised to hand over to the next government an enduring legacy in the power sector.
Earlier, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres noted that African countries and the global trend for power sector development in clean and renewable energy to unbundle the old grid- supply has proven to be inadequate, saying all forms of energy to generate electricity must be applied by countries to ensure adequate supply of power to its people.
According to the UN scribe, it will continue to give necessary support to Nigeria in the power sector, in response to the position paper presented by the minister of state power who represented the Nigerian government at the conference. Responding further to the Nigerian representative submissions, Jedy Agba, the Secretary General disclosed that the UN will increase its support to Nigeria to fund electricity, considering the country’s population and land mass.
Also speaking at the conference, President of African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, stated that the role of AFDB, in the power sector is clear as it has intervened in recent times to ensure the stability and regular supply of electricity to consumers on the continent.
He said the bank will continue to support public-private initiative to promote the sector, as it has continued to formulate and implement policies that are friendly to develop and encourage industries and the manufacturing sectors that rely so much on various sources of energy to boost production capacity.
According to Akinwumi, sustainability in economic growth in any part of the World must depend on the amount and sources of power supply available to manufacturers to determine either low or high capacity production as a factor to intermediate in the law of demand and supply.
The conference which was strategically slated to review the impact of Covid-19 in the power sector and the way forward was able to chat a way forward as the United Nations has promised to give the necessary support to Nigeria to explore other sources of energy to achieve steady and adequate supply of electricity to consumers in Nigeria.
World institutions and countries who participated at the conference include the United Nations, European Union, International Energy Agency, African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Environment minister, Germany; Minister of water, irrigation and Energy Ethiopia; Minister of Petroleum and Energy Senegal; Minister for Ecological Transition Spain; Minister of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation, Italy and Secretary of state for foreign Commonwealth and development affairs.
Ofem Uket, Abuja