Efforts to enhance national energy efficiency and conservation have gained momentum as the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) emphasises the need for collaboration among stakeholders and government officials in policy-making bodies. This collaborative approach aims to strengthen National Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Policies and Regulatory Frameworks, fostering the adoption of Energy Management Systems Standards (EnMS/ESO/ISO 50001) across Nigeria.
The acting director-general of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Mr. Joseph Sunday Olayande highlighted the importance of this collaborative effort during a workshop focused on industrial energy efficiency policy and regulatory formation. The workshop provided capacity building and training to government energy policymakers and regulators in Nigeria.
Olayande explained that the scope of the project encompasses various sectors of the economy, necessitating a comprehensive approach involving stakeholders such as the ministries of mines and steel, agriculture, petroleum, energy/power, transport, finance, works, ICT, science & technology, as well as the private sector. The ECN, selected by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to host one of the project’s working groups, seeks to strengthen National Industrial Energy Efficiency Policies and Regulatory Frameworks in alignment with UNIDO’s standards.
Founded in 1979 and operational since 1989, the ECN plays a crucial role in strategic energy planning and coordination, disseminating information on energy development policies, and making recommendations to the government. Under this project, the ECN is tasked with duties that include: conducting capacity building for policy makers, formulating energy efficiency policies for various sectors, encouraging the implementation of energy efficiency best practices and aligning policies to promote energy efficiency and conservation.
Olayande highlighted the disparities in energy infrastructure, with only one in five Africans having access to electricity and a limited percentage having access to clean water and irrigation facilities. These shortcomings impact sectors like agriculture, transportation and manufacturing, emphasising the need for comprehensive energy efficiency policies.
Representatives from UNIDO acknowledged the significance of the workshop in addressing factors that disrupt energy efficiency in Nigeria. The workshop is expected to develop a long-term training strategy for policy makers, empowering them to integrate energy efficiency best practices into the day-to-day operations of Nigerian manufacturing industries.
A representative from UNIDO, Oluyomi Banjo recognised energy efficiency’s potential to optimise energy security and highlighted UNIDO’s commitment to collaborating with Nigeria to achieve efficiency benefits.
The director of linkages, research and consultancy at the ECN, Engr. Okon Ekpenyong presented samples of energy-efficiency policy initiatives. He emphasised that policies should be adapted to local contexts, as what works well in one setting may not be as effective in another. He stressed that to create an environment conducive to a national energy efficiency programme, policies should be enacted at the appropriate levels (national, state, local) to remove barriers and encourage the development and implementation of energy efficiency practices.
During the workshop, participants discussed how to cascade the overarching national energy efficiency policy framework into concrete sector-specific or industry-specific policies. This process is intended to demonstrate the commitment and support of individual organisations, companies and entities towards energy management systems for continuous energy savings and cost reductions.
Ekpenyong concluded that “The effectiveness of best practice policies hinges on their application in local contexts. By thoughtfully considering development needs, local conditions, and priorities, Nigerian energy policymakers can tailor energy efficiency policies to their country’s unique circumstances”.
In essence, the ECN’s call for synergy in energy efficiency policy underscores the importance of collective efforts in driving sustainable energy practices and economic growth within Nigeria.
Also, a representative from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Clara Nmabaraye highlighted the energy efficiency sector’s potential for women’s empowerment, youth development and national growth. She stressed that energy management policy is key to harnessing these opportunities.
In conclusion, the workshop’s discussions and initiatives underscore the significance of collaborative efforts in establishing comprehensive energy efficiency policies to drive sustainable growth and development across Nigeria’s various sectors.