The Guardian, Monday, 02 February 2015 Written by Chinedum Uwaegbulam
AMID plans to guarantee adequate, reliable and sustainable supply of energy at appropriate costs and in an environmentally friendly manner, to the various sectors of the economy, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) has began the validation of its draft revised National Energy Master Plan (NEMP).
The revised draft National Energy Master Plan (NEMP) seeks to achieve the goals of the revised National Energy Policy (NEP) by converting its strategies to actionable programmes and activities with timelines in the short, medium and long terms. Each chapter of the National Energy Master Plan contains policy statements, policy objectives and actionable programmes, activities and timelines.
ECN in 1990, constituted a committee comprising some members of the Commissionâ€™s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to draft a policy. Government in April 2003 after several reviews by inter-ministerial committees approved the draft. In order to provide a framework for the implementation of the National Energy Policy, the National Energy Master Plan (NEMP) was drafted in 2007.
In a two-day national stakeholders workshop organised by ECN on the Review of the National Energy Master Plan in Abuja, recently, the ECN Director General, Prof Eli Jidere Bala stated that the draft revised National Energy Master Plan would capture activities from Petroleum Policy, Coal and Tar Sands/Bitumen Policy; Nuclear Energy Policy; Renewable Energy Policy; Bio-energy Policy; Electricity Policy; Policy on Energy Utilization; Environment and Climate Change Policy; Policy on Other Energy Issues; and Policy on Energy Financing.
President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr. Ademola Isaac Olorunfemi chaired the workshop, while ECN Director-General presented the keynote address and Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdu Bulama declared the programme open. Bala said, the objective of the NEMP is to ensure the development of the nationâ€™s energy resources, with diversified energy resources option, for the achievement of national energy security and an efficient energy delivery system with an optimal energy resource mix.
Besides, the document will guarantee increased contribution of energy productive activities to national income, an efficient and cost effective consumption pattern of energy resources, accelerate the process of acquisition and diffusion of technology and managerial expertise in the energy sector and indigenous participation in energy sector industries, for stability and self-reliance.
NEMP will also promote increased investments and development of the energy sector industries with substantial private sector participation, ensure a comprehensive, integrated and well informed energy sector plans and programmes for effective development as well as foster international cooperation in energy trade and projects development in both the African region and the world at large.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Country Director, Pa Lamin Beyai noted that the review is very timely in ensuring scaling up actions aimed at promoting increased access to energy and SE4ALL. He said: â€śHaving a NEMP will not only bridge the policy gap that currently exists, but it will also provide the much needed strategic framework for the coordination of the energy sector within the country.â€ť
Beyai represented by the Deputy Country Director (Programme), Mandisa Mashologu stressed that energy is the bedrock of any economy, and a key requirement for both social and economic development of any country. â€śIt is one of the major catalysts for industrial development of small and medium scale enterprises, a sector that has provided employment for the majority of Nigerians.â€ť
He called on stakeholders in the energy sector to prioritize sustainable energy in the policy document given its strategic importance for sustainable human development and in a post oil economy such as Nigeria. â€śRenewable energy and energy efficiency represents the cheapest and the fastest way we can make clean energy available and accessible to rural communities, most of who are not connected to the national grid,â€ť he added.