By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—VICE President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said Nigeria requires about $1 trillion investment to modernise its energy infrastructure.
Osinbajo, who stated this while declaring open the National Energy and Climate Change summit at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, in Abuja, yesterday, said government was doing a lot to attract domestic and foreign-direct investments into the energy sector.
He added that the nation’s energy and energy-related policies were not only geared towards energy supply security but to also mitigate global warming.
While commending the Energy Commission of Nigeria, ECN, and the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, FMST, for organising the summit, Prof. Osinbajo, who was represented by Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said government had increased transparency and openness in governance to support private investment.
He said: “This important event will provide a high-level forum to discuss energy and climate change as they relate to economic development and environmental protection.
“I am happy that this summit is taking place at a time the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, FMST, is working hard to help move our economy away from being resource-based to an economy that is knowledge-based and innovation-driven.
“I am hopeful that at the end of your deliberations, you will be able to provide solutions towards improving sustainable energy supply and access in the country.
‘’I am happy that the International Energy Charter, IECh, a reputable inter-governmental energy organisation that has the main objective of promoting multi-lateral framework for cross-border cooperation in the field of energy development is here with us.”
In his address, Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of Energy Commission of Nigeria, ECN, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala, said in line with its mandate, ECN instituted the summit to serve as a forum where national issues on energy in all its ramifications were discussed, with a view to facilitating the monitoring and assessment of performance of the energy sector in the execution of government policies on energy.
In his special remarks, European Union head of Cooperation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Kurt Cornelis, said the EU had so far committed 150 euros to support Nigeria through several projects cutting across the electricity value chain of the Nigeria electricity sector as well as the off-grid sector.
He said: “Just to mention a few, the EU from this envelope, is co-financing phase 2 of NESP with 20 million euros as well as a support to TCN with 25 miliion euros grant to construct the Kura-Jogana-Gwiwa-Daura-Katsina double circuit 330KVA transmission line and substations which will also help evacuate the 1000MW Jigawa solar city project.”
He also stated that the focus of the EU was to increase support to Nigeria’s Climate Change initiatives by working hand in hand with the Federal Ministry of Environment on a new change action to start next year and continue to sensitise and raise awareness at the highest levels about the need take concrete measures to fight climate change.
He commended the Federal Government for having the political will to promote the use of renewable energy technology in the overall energy mix of the country and promised the continued support of the EU and ECOWAS to the country in ensuring that those without energy access got connected in the shortest possible time.