Government

Nigeria requires $1trn to modernise energy infrastructure – Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says 1 trillion dollars is required to modernise Nigeria’s energy infrastructure in 29 years.

Osinbajo made this known while declaring open a 2-day National Energy and Climate Change Summit at the State House Banquet Hall on Thursday in Abuja.

The summit was organised by the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in collaboration with the International Energy Charter (IECh) and the European Union.

Represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the vice president said the summit would provide a high level forum to discuss energy and climate change in relation to economic development and environmental protection.

He expressed optimism that the deliberations would provide solutions toward improving sustainable energy supply and access in Nigeria.

The vice president said he was happy that IECh, a reputable energy organisation that promotes multilateral framework for cross-border cooperation in the field of energy development, was part of the summit.

“I recall the ceremony last year, about 18 months ago, in this same hall, when Nigeria signed the International Energy Charter Political Declaration after obtaining the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari; Nigeria then joined the charter as an observer member state.

“I also recall, that the ECN immediately signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IECh secretariat in order to promote such activities that will be beneficial to our dear Nation.

“Following this, a study of the Energy Investment Risk Assessment for our country has been completed; the report which has just being presented to us here today.

“I am happy that the assessment which featured four performance indicators has scored our energy investment risk as moderate.

“This is challenging in view of the huge investment of about 1trillion dollars required to modernise our energy infrastructure in 29 years from 2014 to 2043,’’ he said.

The vice president said that Nigeria’s energy related policies were not only geared toward energy supply security but also to mitigate global warming.

Osinbajo said that Nigeria’s determined contributions to the Paris Climate Protocol were robust.

He said that to further support private investment, the Federal Government had increased transparency and openness in governance as well as instituted several executive orders to remove bottlenecks in business registrations and permit.

On his part, Prof. Eli Bala, the Director-General, ECN, said that the commission had the mandate and responsibility for strategic planning and co-ordination of national policies in the field of energy.

“The importance of energy as an instrument for national development as well as international cooperation and diplomacy cannot be over emphasized.

“Modern societies, however, demand that development therefrom must be sustainable as defined by the Brundtland Commission in 1987 in its report, on Our Common Future.

“This year’s summit has the objective of assessing the investment environment in the energy sector for sustainable energy development,’’ he said.

In a remark, Dr Urban Rusnak, IECh’s Secretary-General, advised Nigeria to improve its investment in climate and decrease the risk perceived in investment in the country.

Rusnak said there was need to highlight the importance of a rigorous impact assessment of existing and proposed policies.

“Without understanding how the policy works and what are the key performance indicators and to be able to adopt existing policies, there will be no progress; no possible development.

“Second and very important finding is that the level of transparency and public engagement needs to be increased.

“We have seen all over the world of issues of acceptance of energy investments.

“The most important finding is the streamline and clarification of judiciary procedures to give investment community security and feelings of the responsibility of the host Nation over investments,’’ he said.

The National Energy Summit was instituted by ECN in 2010 as an annual event to provide a platform for discussion on energy security, economic development and environmental protection. (NAN)

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