The Nigerian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Sen. Adeleke Mamora has emphasised the need for Nigeria to prioritise investment in renewable energy as a means of achieving energy security and sustainable economic growth.
Speaking at a workshop on “Accelerating Small Hydropower Investment” in Abuja, Mamora highlighted Nigeria’s abundant renewable energy sources such as hydropower, wind, solar and biomass. He further stressed that small hydropower and biomass have greater potential to provide access to firm electricity and address climate change in the country.
Mamora acknowledged that industrialisation provides a mechanism for sustainable economic growth and development, but noted that this cannot be achieved without an adequate energy supply. He called for the active collaboration of policymakers, academia, public financiers and the private sector to enhance investment in renewables and small hydropower to achieve Nigeria’s desired goals.
The director-general of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Prof. Eli Bala echoed Mamora’s sentiments, stating that Nigeria’s ambition for industrialisation and economic development is reflected in its 2050 Development Plan Document.
Bala emphasised that the overall objective is to take Nigeria from a lower middle-income country to a high-income country by 2050, which cannot be achieved without an adequate supply of energy in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.
Also, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) was commended for its efforts in facilitating dialogue that will enhance prosperity in Nigeria through the transformation of the energy sector.
UNIDO representative to ECOWAS and regional director of its Nigeria regional office hub, Mr. Jean Bakola highlighted that energy is a critical input for sustainable economic growth and industrial development in Nigeria.
Bakola noted that UNIDO launched the scaling of small hydropower project in Nigeria in 2015 to promote investment in hydropower technology and strengthen local manufacturing of goods.
In conclusion, investing in renewable energy is necessary for Nigeria to achieve its desired economic growth and energy security. The collaboration of stakeholders, policymakers, academia, public financiers, and the private sector is essential to drive investment in renewables and small hydropower.
Nigeria’s abundance of renewable energy sources, coupled with the government’s commitment to the 2050 Development Plan Document, presents a unique opportunity for the country to achieve sustainable economic growth while addressing climate change.