Stakeholders in Nigeria’s energy sector have stressed the need to deploy innovative solutions to ensure the inclusion of youth and different forces in the country.
The stakeholders were at the 2023 World Energy Day Celebration organised by the Nigerian Association of Energy Economics on Thursday in Abuja. The event ”Energising Nigeria’s Future: Bridging Energy Aspirations and Realities.
Available data show that Nigeria has the world’s largest energy access deficit, with over 90 million people lacking access to electricity and the worst performing national grids in Africa, according to Leadership.
Prof Yinka Omorogbe, President of the Nigeria Association of Energy Economics, reiterated the need for energised Nigerian youths, stating that majority of Nigeria’s population is youth, hence, they need to be included to help drive the nation’s economy.
“An excellent energy mix was essential if we were talking about energising the whole of Nigeria,” she said, adding that “You could not aspire and succeed unless you dealt with present-day realities.
”And the present-day reality is that half of Nigeria does not have any electricity at all. We have a poor system when it comes to downstream products. We are a significant producer and a major downstream importer. If you now go into clean cooking, you will find that only about 20 per cent of Nigeria is utilising clean cooking fuel,” she said.
She called on government officials to make Nigeria great by creating an enabling environment.
“There is a lot of room, and more can be done to make Nigeria a favourable investment climate and push CNG and LPG.”
”A lot is being done already, but a lot more needs to be done, especially once we realise that time is no longer on our side with all the different initiatives there are.
Also speaking, the executive secretary of the PTDF, Ahmed Aminu, said “this year’s theme spoke directly to the call of our shared global challenges and opportunities.
”I am particularly enthusiastic about this conference’s role in shaping the future of energy and transportation.
”This event engenders a dynamic and insightful dialogue among industry players, policymakers, and entrepreneurs.
”It is a collaborative platform to chart a new and sustainable course for business practices in the energy sector.
”This topic is timely considering the current economic and environmental challenges we face; it will also flash a torchlight on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)as a sustainable alternative for our country, ” Aminu said.
According to the executive secretary, CNG holds the potential to revolutionise not just the transportation sector but the way we think and utilise our energy resources.
He then expressed PTDF’s commitment to driving this change primarily through established human capacity and scholarship programmes by empowering young Nigerians through education in renewable energy disciplines.
Presenting a keynote, Doosughun Takur, Director of Programmes, Clean Tech Hub Nigeria, also emphasised the importance of moving away from fossil fuels.
Taker, who expressed concerns on subsidy removal, said its removal was a way forward for the country to think towards a sustainable plan.
”We need plans to ensure we are not on resources that will run out, and then we will be stranded.
”We need plans, whether in government or in businesses, to create sustainability in our models and processes.
”I am a strong advocate for climate change. So, how will we keep the earth for those coming after us?
”We have to look beyond corruption, grid or money to make the world cleaner and greener for those coming ahead of us, and the only way we can do that is through sustainability,” she said.
According to the director, Nigeria heavily depends on fossil fuels, and transiting from there immediately to solar may be difficult due to the large gap.