By Chijioke Okoronkwo, Abuja.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria needs pend over 410 billion dollars to deliver its energy transition plan by 2060.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the vice-president spoke at the global virtual inauguration of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan.
The plan is a roadmap to tackle the dual crises of energy poverty and climate change.
The vice-president highlighted the significant scale of resources required to attain both development and climate ambitions.
Osinbajo said that Africa’s increasing energy gaps required collaboration to take ownership of the continent’s transition pathways, while the action should be decisive and urgent.
“For Africa, the problem of energy poverty is as important as our climate ambitions.
“Energy use is crucial for almost every conceivable aspect of development; wealth, health, nutrition, water, infrastructure, education and life expectancy are significantly related to the consumption of energy per capita.
“Nigeria would need to spend 410 billion dollars, above business-as-usual spending, to deliver our transition plan by 2060, which translates to about 10 billion dollars per year.
“The average 3 billion dollars per year investments in renewable energy, recorded for the whole of Africa between 2000 and 2020, will certainly not suffice,” he added.
The vice-president chaired the inter-ministerial Energy Transition Implementation Working Group.
According to him, the group is currently engaging with partners to secure an initial 10 billion dollars’ support package, ahead of COP27, along the lines of the South African Just Energy Transition Partnership announced at COP26 in Glasgow.
Speaking on the effects of climate change in Africa, Osinbajo said that climate change threatened crop productivity in regions that were already food insecure, adding that since agriculture provided the largest number of jobs, reduced crop productivity would also worsen unemployment.
“It is certainly time for decisive action, and we just cannot afford to delay; African nations are rising to the challenge. All African countries have signed the Paris Agreement and some countries, South Africa, Sudan, Angola and Nigeria, have also announced net-zero targets.
“The current lack of power hurts livelihoods and destroys the dreams of hundreds of millions of young people.
“And although Africa’s current unmet energy needs are huge, future demand will be even greater, due to expanding populations, urbanization and movement into the middle class.
“It is clear that the continent must address its energy constraints, and it would require external support and policy flexibility to deliver this.
“Unfortunately, in the wider responses to the climate crisis, we are not seeing careful consideration and acknowledgement of Africa’s aspirations,” he said.
On other aspirations of the roadmap, Osinbajo said that the plan had the potential to create about 340,000 jobs by 2030 and 840,000 jobs by 2060.
He said that it also presented a unique opportunity to deliver a true low-carbon and rapid development model in Africa’s largest economy.
At the virtual event, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, said that the bank planned to commit over 1.5 billion dollars towards the Energy Transition Plan on renewable energy, power sector reforms, clean cooking, and wherever opportunities arose.
On his part, Mr Adam Cortese, Chief Executive Officer, Sun Africa, said that the inauguration of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan had further accelerated efforts, proving Nigeria to be fertile grounds for investments in the sector.
“We are in the final stages of discussion with U.S. EXIM Bank on a 1.5-billion-dollar financing package,” he said.
Speakers at the event commended Nigeria’s leadership and pioneering role in the region.
They emphasised the need for data-driven country-level energy transition plans that recognise the unique pathways which each country would need to take in order to achieve a just, inclusive and equitable energy transition for all.
There were also remarks from Nigerian officials including the Ministers of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi; Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency, Ahmad Salihijo.
Other speakers included the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, Senegal’s Minister of Petroleum and Energies, Sophie Gladima and Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed El-Markabi.
Representatives of the UN, Sustainable Energy for All, the World Bank, African Development Bank, IRENA, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet also attended the event.