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A One-Day National Workshop on Energy Access for Sustainable Development of the Built and Natural Environment in Nigeria organized by the Nigerian National Committee of the World Energy Council (NNC-WEC) in collaboration with the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) held on 26th January, 2017 at the Rockview Hotel (Classic), Wuse II, Abuja.

The objective of the Workshop was to address the challenge of low access to modern energy services and large scale dependence on traditional biomass due to weak energy infrastructure for economic growth, sustainable development and human survival in Africa.

Participants at the event included  Mrs. Belema Wakama, Permanent Secretary FMS&T who  represented the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Honourable   Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Baba Shehuri; Former Minister of Commerce, Engr. Mustapha Bello; Chairman NNC-WEC, Prof. Abubakar Sani Sambo OON, FNSE; the Regional Manager for Africa of WEC, Dr. Latscoube Fall; Vice Chancellor Usman Danfodio University Sokoto, Prof. A. A Zuru ; Treasurer NNC-WEC, Mrs. Uzoma. O. Azubuike, President Council of Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN), Engr. Kashim Ali, Vice President Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr, Kunle Mokuolu, and Directors from the ECN and its Research Centres.

Three technical papers in the following areas were presented and discussed extensively. They include :

  • Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Nigeria: What does it take? (Prof. Eli Jidere Bala, Director General/CEO  Energy Commission of Nigeria, ECN)

  • Optimal Energy Needs for the Built and Natural Environment (Prof. Danladi Matawal, Director General CEO NBRRI);
  • Sustaisnable Power Supply in Nigeria; The Need to Expand the Energy Mix (Prof. Abubakar Sani Sambo, Chairman NNC-WEC).

In concluding the workshop, the following were identified as challenges of energy access in Nigeria

  1. Inadequate incentives for renewable and energy efficiency
  2. Relatively high initial investment cost for sustainable energy technologies
  3. Poor access to finance and Insecurity of energy infrastructure
  4. Lack of a single Ministry of Energy and Low energy mix which makes the security of supply very low with the attendant self-generation of electricity by those who are able, adding that the current electricity access figure of less than 50% is due to the slow rate at which new power plants with associated infrastructure are being added.

The Workshop Noted that:

  1. The new owners of the six power generation companies and eleven distribution companies appear to be having problems with improving the performances of the companies they acquired.
  2. More than half of the  Nigeria  population have no access to clean and modern energy supply and the country appears at the lower range of African and World energy supply indexes;
  3. Nigeria has abundant renewable energy resources e.g. solar; wind; small hydropower; etc, which are distributed throughout the country and can be reasonably harnessed to promote economic and social growth especially among rural dwellers in the country.

Inferring from all the above Presentations the workshop observed and suggested that:

  • Stepping up grid and off-grid supply, decentralized energy, and promoting affordable clean energy;
  • Undertaking appropriate reforms and restructuring the energy sector, in order to mobilize adequate financing, including from the local and regional capital markets;
  • Promoting energy markets design and integration regionally, reinforcing cooperation and integration of the African energy sector;
  • Significant expansion of power supply from all viable energy sources like natural gas, hydro, solar, wind, biomass/ biofuels, coal and nuclear element – bringing   the energy mix to seven instead of the current power supply of 2,000-5000MW from two energy mix which is grossly insufficient;
  • The new licenses issued by NERC have not made appreciable progress, largely due to problems of bankability of the business plans developed by the licensees.
  • Majority of the electric appliances and lighting fittings widely used in the country are very inefficient and consume unduly large amounts of electricity.
  • Different players with different energy policies without harmonization
  • Frequent Policy change in government.
  • Absence of complement of technical manpower to design, constructs, operate and maintain power systems in the entire value chain.
  • Majority of power related projects are handled by expatriates.
  • Initial cost of investment, inadequate skilled manpower and insufficient infrastructural support have been identified as major barriers to the penetration of available renewable energy technologies in Africa;
  • That public awareness on the potentials and benefits of energy efficiency and conservation measures is still low in the country resulting in huge energy waste.
  1. Recommendations:

In view of the above challenges and observations the following were recommended by the


  1. Incorporate more renewable energy technologies into the current Nigerian energy mix.
  2. Develop EUI benchmarks backed by legislation to aid enforceability by building development control authorities.
  3. Exploitation of natural energy sources should not compromise the ability of the environment and future generations in meeting their own energy needs.
  4. Expanding the existing two sources of gas and hydro to seven: gas, hydro, solar energy, wind energy, biomass/biofuels, coal and nuclear as this will greatly expand the electricity supply for Nigeria and enhance security of supply.
  5. There should be substantial increase in  the share of renewable energy in the nation’s energy mix
  6. Doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
  7. The Federal Executive Council should ratify the resolutions of COP 21 after which a Steering Committee should be set-up to recommend the pathways for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  8. The expansion of the energy mix should be affected in an organised fashion based on the nation’s electricity demand and supply projections.
  9. Efforts should be intensified by both the Government and private sectors to harness the potentials of renewable energy resources in Nigeria

10.  Public-private-partnership should be adopted in RE development in Nigeria;

11.  National Assembly should provide the legislative framework to accelerate the sustainable energy development in the country by passing the National Energy Policy and the Renewable Energy Master Plan into law;

12.  Government at all levels should make appropriate budgets to support the production and distribution of RE Technologies and Energy Efficiency measures especially to rural families for social and economic development;

13.  Renewable energy courses and programmes should be articulated and introduced in the curriculum of secondary and tertiary institutions to promote the widespread dissemination of renewable energy activities in the country;

14.  Adopting energy efficiency measures and energy conservation policies as well as related public awareness programs.

15.  The statutory environmental laws, guidelines, policies and regulations should be observed to ensure sustainable development of the energy sector;

16.  Adequate funding of research and development should be addressed in subsequent budgets.


ECN Media Unit © March 2017


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