The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) is charting a new course for sustainable energy development in Nigeria with the introduction of a lecture series to build the capacity of its staff and other stakeholders in the sector.
Delivering his remarks during the opening of the maiden edition of the ECN quarterly energy lecture series organized by the commission and facilitated by Marydel Nigeria Limited today (October 25) in Abuja, ECN director-general, Prof. Eli Bala, underscored the need to build the capacity of staff of the agency charged with the responsibility of the strategic planning and coordination of national policies in the field of energy. He stressed that staff must be enlightened to be efficient and effective in executing the mandate.
“In discharging this mandate, the Act also charged the commission to serve as a centre for gathering and dissemination of information relating to national policy in the field of energy development; collate, analyse and publish information relating to the field of energy from all sources; monitor the performance of energy sector in the execution of government policies on energy; make recommendations for the exploitation of new sources of energy, as well as liaise with all international organisations in energy matters.
“Consequently, the commission is the official National Focal Point of Nigeria for International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), the International Energy Charter (IEC) amongst others,” he said.
Bala pointed out that to perform these enormous functions, an extensive and in-depth understanding of the energy sector is imperative and a pre-requisite.
“Therefore, to enhance the capacity of management and staff of the commission as well as other stakeholders, the concept of the Energy Lecture Series on topical issues in the energy industry to be delivered by experienced experts from the academia, private sector and government, was conceived.
“The lecture series, to complement our National Energy Summit, is also expected to fashion out recommendations for considerations with the potential to remove obstacles towards adequate, reliable, cost-effective and sustainable energy supply into the economy, with the active participation of the private sector,” he stated.
The ECN boss expressed optimism that the series will open a new chapter in Nigeria’s efforts at developing her energy sector by charting the course for sustainable energy development in Nigeria and promoting Nigeria’s realisation of transition to a low-carbon economy, in line with the nation’s commitment to international climate protocols.
He underscored the need for effective collaboration between stakeholders in the public and private sectors, towards the development of the energy sector, saying the importance of such collaborations cannot be overemphasized.
“It is, therefore, my sincere hope that the Energy Lecture Series will birth a new chapter in the enhancement of stakeholder collaboration towards harnessing Nigeria’s huge energy potentials,” he added.
In his paper titled “Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA 2005) and the lessons learnt”, the commissioner, engineering performance and monitoring, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. Frank Okafor, called for more funding for scientific research.
He further made a case for integrated resource planning – a compendium for energy-based activities that the country needs for measured progress in energy generation, transmission and distribution – adding that the ECN should drive the project. He further called for exploration of the alternative transmission system, for more efficient power transfer.
Okafor maintained that every effort should be geared toward the attainment of cost-reflective tariffs in an environment of high and sustainable quality of service.
Presenting a paper “Understanding the specifics of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021”, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, said PIA is a workable new beginning, stressing it has laid down a framework for the petroleum industry. She said this is particularly significant for the downstream and natural gas as it had provided legal and regulatory environment, adding that the domestic natural gas is prioritised.