By Gabriel Ewepu
AN international rights organisation, Global Rights Nigeria and other experts have kicked as the Federal Government moves to generate power from coal.
This was contained in the report presented by the Country Director, Global Rights Nigeria, Abiodun Baiyewu-Teru, titled To Coal or Not To Coal: A Powerful Question, at the weekend in Abuja.
Baiyewu-Teru stated that the move will endanger lives of Nigerians if the government goes on with it.
The Country Director, who spoke extensively on the impact of coal mining on a host community, Maiganga in Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State, also noted that many countries no more talk about generating power from coal, rather are investing heavily on renewable energy sources suitable for the environment.
According to her, the 30 per cent coal power source utilisation policy was in contrast with the commitment made by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Climate Change Conference, Marrakech (COP22) in 2016 that Nigeria would become a reference point in carbon emission reduction, adding that the country was also a signatory to Minamata Convention on Mercury.
She said: “The entry point for Nigeria’s coal renaissance… , lies in its desire to exponentially boost its power generation by expanding its pool of energy sources to include coal.
“Nigeria’s coal power policy thrust on the surface appears reasonable. Its proponents often tout it as being ‘available’, ‘cheap’ and as ‘creating job opportunities.’ In reality, coal has been proven time and again to be possibly one of the most expensive energy sources on the planet when externalised costs; high carbon missions largely responsible for the current surge in global warming, extensive consumption of limited water resources, environmental degradation, host community health, and air pollution are factored in.
For these reasons, there has been a global shift to phase out dirty energy sources and embrace cleaner and greener sources.”