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The New Energy Master Plan

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Recently, the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) unveiled two strategic documents that they claimed would serve as a roadmap to energy transition, efficiency and reliability in the country.

The documents which are National Energy Plan (NEP) and National Energy Master Plan (NEMP) produced by the ECN became the first in recent memory that the government will issue gazettes on energy in the country.

According to the ECN, these documents highlight the determination of President Bola Tinubu's quest to diversify the sector in order to power Nigeria's industries, enhance economic development and attract more investments.

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Recall that on January 1, 2024, President Bola Tinubu announced to the nation that improving power supply was his major priority in much the same way his energy adviser Olu Verheijen recently spelled out what the government had in mind.

Nigeria is facing lingering electricity shortages, which is a huge encumbrance to Africa's biggest economy and population.  Nigeria's generating capacity has been abysmal and part of what is produced is wasted because it can't be distributed through the dilapidated grid.

The country has been derisively tagged a ‘generator economy' due to the fact that most of its over 200 million people rely on noisy generating sets to power their homes and businesses. The nation's commercial and business hub -Lagos, said to be home to about 25 million people, gets just 1,000 megawatts of electricity from the national grid.  Meanwhile, the Chinese commercial and business city Shanghai, which has roughly the same population, has access to more than 30,000 megawatts, which shows the backwardness of Nigeria in this sector.

The  government by this policy intends to improve on the existing situation  by prevailing on electricity distribution companies to raise additional equity to address the fundamental challenge of a capital deficit of about $2.2 billion, which will enable them to improve their services.

The government is also trying to hike tariffs on electricity as the target is to increase the liquidity and viability of the power sector. However, there are doubts if these measures would provide the solution to the problem as Nigerians are kicking against tariff increase citing difficulties on the already impoverished population.

Poor electricity generation means that Nigeria has to diversify to other sources such as renewable energy, where it also has enormous potential amid challenges of funding and infrastructure.  And to achieve this, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji, has noted that the federal government in pursuance of its energy targets has floated two great bonds of $10.6 billion and $15 billion in the first and second tranches respectively.

He added that the third tranche with a threshold of $50 billion targets projects that will promote the transition to low carbon and climate resilient growth which includes both climate mitigation and adaptation.

We applaud these efforts aimed at boosting investment initiatives under Nigeria's energy transition plan, where the bond holders, beneficiaries, suppliers, manufacturers and a host of other value chain activities can explore investment opportunities.

We align with the Director General of the ECN Mustapha Abdullahi that there is the need to deepen investment   in the sector through collaboration with stakeholders on the roadmap to guarantee energy security through diversification.

Energy sustainability forms the backbone of society and economic growth, but Nigeria has over the years lagged behind in this sector. The nation faces challenges in the energy sector such as inadequate infrastructure and limited access to electricity that have hindered its industrialization drive and economic development.

The country must therefore embrace a comprehensive approach that prioritizes the diversification of energy resources, energy efficiency and availability to ensure reliable access for all Nigerians. In this regard, renewable energy is also key because the rest of the world is investing in that direction.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) (Hon. Ekperipe Ekpo , believes that 30 million new jobs would be available in the energy sector globally as a result of investment in energy transition,  which is one of the significant sectors that the Nigerian government should  focus on to create jobs for the teaming Nigerian youth.

There is no doubt that energy efficiency and sustainability are essential to drive the modern economy. It is, therefore, pertinent to create a robust partnership between   the public and private sectors to leverage the power of cooperation, creativity and technology in addressing energy difficulties for a sustainable energy .

Energy transition is a sure way to decreasing pollutants to improve health, enhancing green technology, and decreasing the rate of global warming to protect the environment and the people from health hazards.


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