The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, says Nigeria’s renewable energy and energy efficiency sector has continued to grow rapidly thereby heightening the need for a skilled workforce to support it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aliyu spoke yesterday at the “Energise – First Career Fair for the Clean Energy Sector,” in Lagos.
The fair was organised by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Associations – Alliance (REEEA-A) in collaboration with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), European Union and the German Government.
Over 25 companies in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector and about 115 professionals seeking to advance their careers in the industry participated in the fair.
Aliyu, represented by Director, Renewable and Rural Power Access, Ministry of Power, Abubakar Ali-Dapshima, said the fair was designed to facilitate the matching of competences with available opportunities in the clean energy sector.
According to him, with the push for cleaner sources of energy, renewable energy is one of the fastest growing high technology sectors in the global economy.
He said the growth of the renewable energy sector had heightened the need for a skilled workforce that will support the strengthening of power and energy access initiatives of the government, players and partners.
The minister added that renewable energy is one of the ways the government provides electricity to Nigerians in the rural areas not connected to the national grid.
To this end, he said the government has been developing solar mini-grids, and remains committed to achieving a carbon net zero by 2060.
Earlier, the Head of Programme, NESP, Duke Benjamin, emphasised the commitment of the programme to reinforcing the skills and capacity force in the sector.
Benjamin, represented by Head of Unit, NESP, Olumide Fatoki, said the renewable energy sector is growing and needed about 30,000 young Nigerians to fill the gap in the sector.
He commended the efforts of the funding and implementation partners of the career fair, adding that it was the first step towards establishing a skill-matching collaboration platform for the clean energy sector.
The government has been developing solar mini-grids, and remains committed to achieving a carbon net zero by 2060.
Deputy Director, Energy Commission of Nigeria and a member of the REEEA-A Steering Committee, Dr Aminu Isa, highlighted the importance of collaborations as a key driver of the expected growth in the energy sector.
“As an Alliance of associations within the Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) sector, we are very much interested in this synergy.
“This is aimed at improving the quality and standards of RE and EE technologies while also strengthening capacity in terms of knowledge generation and skills distribution,” he said.
In a goodwill message, the Head of Section, Green and Digital Economy at the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Inga Stefanowicz, said youth and job creation were major Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the EU.
“We are happy to support the implementation of this activity that contributes to multiple Sustainable Development Goals in one go, particularly the creation of decent work within the RE and EE sector to foster economic growth in the country,” she said.
NAN reports that the Abuja leg of the fair is scheduled to hold on April 12, with over 100 professionals expected to physically participate in the event, with capacity provided for an additional 250 to participate virtually.