Nigeria, Belgium brainstorm on energy development

The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in collaboration with International Energy Charter (IEC), Belgium, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), have brainstormed on energy development in the country.

The event was the 2022 National Energy Summit, theme: “Green Economy and Sustainable Energy Development in Nigeria: “Investment Opportunities and Challenges,” which was held in Abuja.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation, Uche Ekwunife, said the Committee had concluded plans for the National Energy Sustainable Development for 2021.

Ekwunife said the plan would provide a crystal and regulatory framework for Sustainable Energy Development in the overall objective of providing clean, affordable, adequate and reliable energy in Nigeria.

She said the lawmakers are always ready and desirous of facilitating any energy-related multilateral agreement that would attract investors into Nigeria.

“The report will be considered by plenary any time soon for passing into law.

“The Senate is in the final stage of concurrence for the House of Representatives, which amended the Energy Commission of Nigeria 2004 Act, to make the condition a focal point to renewable energy sufficiency.

“As a testimony to our commitment to the realisation of the theme of this Summit, the senate Committee on Science Technology and Innovation has concluded necessary plans on the national energy sustainable development for 2021

“This will in no doubt give the ECN a legal impetus to implement Nigeria’s Energy Master Plan holistically. It is my hope that the outcome of this summit will impact positively in the Nigerian energy sector,” she said.

Energy Charter Treaty

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General, IEC, Guy Lentz, highlighted what Nigeria can gain on becoming a member nation of the Energy Charter Treaty, to facilitate investment in its energy sector, particularly renewables.

He said the Federal Government had worked hard to fulfil the conditions for assertion to the Treaty, which are not easy in terms of the rule of law.

“There is a lot of capacity in Nigeria like wind, solar and biomass. All these energy will be developed; and to achieve this, the country needs mostly private investments.

“To attract private investments, Nigeria needs to have a solid legal framework, which is the Energy Charter Treaty.

“Nigeria has to give trust and confidence to other member countries that they can truly invest in Nigeria and be protected by law and treaty to invest in renewable energy.

“This Treaty is 25 years old. We just finalised the first part of modernisation of this treaty, after four years to make it compatible with all the climate targets. My wish in 2023 is to expand and to open this new treaty to new countries,” he said.

There is a lot of capacity in Nigeria like wind, solar and biomass. All these energy will be developed; and to achieve this, the country needs mostly private investments.

Transition to businesses

The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, said the workshop was aimed at examining avenues where the transition would translate into businesses, whereby investors could come and invest for the purposes of generating jobs within the value chain.

The Director-General, ECN, Prof. Eli Jidere, said the choice of the theme was informed by global warming and the need to transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

Jidere said the Summit was meant to strengthen collaboration with the international energy charter, thereby making Nigeria part of the global comity of nations.

He said: “When investors come in they need legal instruments; in case of disputes they can easily settle it.

“If Nigeria belongs to the international community through the IEC, a community where common rules are, it makes it very easy for people to come in and invest.

“Certainly we need a lot of investments to ensure that we have enough electricity, more fuel, bio fuel.

“We need electricity from renewable energy directly which drives the economy, depending on the sources of energy used within the economy,” he said.

The annual programme attracts the involvement of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government while the energy charter treaty has 56 member nations within the Northern hemisphere. (NAN)

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