The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and other stakeholders in the energy sector have met to validate Nigeria’s industrial energy efficiency (IEE) and resource efficiency cleaner production (RECP) to boost the nation’s energy sector.
Speaking during a public-private dialogue on IEE policy and regulatory framework and validation of recommendations from the analysis of IEE policies, regulations and standards in Nigeria organised by the ECN and the Global Energy Facility (GEF) through UNIDO in Abuja, the ECN director-general, Prof. Eli Bala revealed that the four-year project aims to accelerate the IEE adaption, as well as improve RECP best practices in Nigeria.
Bala explained that the project has two components implemented by the commission and the Federal Ministry of Environment.
“While the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) is implementing the industrial energy efficiency component, the Federal Ministry of Environment is implementing the resource efficiency and cleaner production component,” he stated.
He added that the workshop is to enable stakeholders to review and validate the recommendations made from the collated and analysed national industrial energy policies and regulations on energy efficiency – an outcome of the earlier stakeholder engagement held in January 2022; while also promoting public-private dialogue that will bring about the development of a new regulatory manual to guide industrial energy efficiency practices in the country.
The ECN helmsman asserted that the project will assist the Nigerian government in promoting energy efficiency in the industrial sector as an instrument of meeting its climate obligations.
Earlier in his remarks, the country representative and regional director, UNIDO regional office hub, Mr. Jean Bakole lamented that despite having a capacity of over 13,000MW, on most days Nigeria is only able to dispatch around 4,000MW, which is insufficient for a country of over 200 million people.
According to him, Nigeria is the largest user of oil-fired backup generators in Africa which add to widespread environmental pollution with significant effects on public health. Fossil fuel extraction and inefficiencies throughout the entire energy sector imply that Nigeria is one of the countries with the world’s slowest progress in reducing energy intensity.
He, however, highlighted that the success of the multifaceted and complex project in Nigeria, being the first where both projects are being jointly implemented, would also be a success story for Africa as well as a precedent for some other countries around the world.
“There are four executing teams selected from the national government, regional government and the organised private sector. It is also one of the very rare occasions where the project management unit of a national project like this is situated with an organised private sector player,” he explained.
Represented by UNIDO’s environment expert, Oluyomi Banjo, Bakole underscored the importance of understanding Nigeria’s policy and regulatory framework and its gaps if Nigeria is to make progress in the areas of efficiently using its available energy and planning for additional generation and distribution.
The country rep posited that UNIDO is embarking on a national mapping exercise on energy-intensive industries across five industrial sectors, adding the organisation will continue to ensure that this project is successfully delivered to the government and people of Nigeria.
Giving the project assessment and analysis of the workshop/dialogue, the director, linkages, research and consultancy, ECN, Engr. Okon Ekpenyong, pointed out that the main goal of the project was to establish current baseline policy/regulatory frameworks for the development of energy policies and regulations for increased investment in industrial energy efficiency.
Ekpenyong, the lead of the IEE working group, further said these policies are expected to be in harmony or derived from overarching energy policy which provides a guide for future energy-related, sub-sectoral policy developments to avoid policy conflicts that may otherwise arise.