21 March 2016, Abuja – Nigeria is expected to generate 1000 mega watts of electricity from coal by year 2020 to supplement other sources of energy currently in use in the country.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, disclosed this at an Economic Summit organised by the New Telegraph newspapers with the theme, “Nigeria: Beyond the Oil Economy”, in Lagos last week.
Also, the diversification of the nation’s economy has been yielding positive results, with the country earning about N400 billion from solid minerals in 2015, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Fayemi noted that a significant opportunity exists for power generation from coal exploration in the country. He said the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development is collaborating Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to ensure that huge coal deposit in the country is explored to meet some of its energy needs.
“Coal production started in Nigeria in 1902 and it was the main energy source for our country until 1960, and coal is in about 19 states of the federation stretching for about 800 kilometres. Coal exploration offers a significant opportunity for power generation and one of the efforts that we are making now in partnership with the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing is ensuring that coal forms a significant part of the energy needs.
“I know there are people who are worried about climate change and the implication of coal on that. But even coal can achieve clean coal environmental standard and we believe that about 1000 mega watts of electricity can be generated from coal by the year 2020. And these are plants that are going to be sited near the areas where the reserves are, across the country,” he stated.