Port Harcourt — The Federal Government has been charged to divert investment from fossil fuel, such as public finance, loans, subsidy and invest in renewable energy development in order to accelerate clean energy solution access to all Nigerians.
The Senate Committee on Climate Change and Ecology, said the need to envision a post petroleum economy driven by clean sources of energy must be articulated and practiced.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Hassan Gusau, regretted that Nigeria has remained an oil dependent county, despite its ambition to reduce carbon emission by 45percent in 2030, inline with the Paris climate change agreement.
Gusau, speaking in Port Harcourt at a retreat on a Bill for an Act to establish the National Renewable Energy Efficiency Council, harped on a post-petroleum economy with cleaner energy for the country.
The Bill which is a product of the committee working with ERA/FoEN led CSO action for Renewable Energy, kick starts the debate towards transition as a process and the need to engage towards cleaner energy with the citizens on the subject.
“Nigeria lacks a road map to make these transition from fossil driven economy
to renewable energy alternatives. Nigeria must necessarily start by recognizing that oil driven economy must end and start diversifying the economy.
“We need a just transition in which climate and energy solution becomes available to everyone, energy cost are shared in an equitable manner between the rich, poor and industries.
“Transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources is urgent and now. It is hoped that this efforts with culminate into enacting a legislative backing by an Act of National Assembly for improved access to renewable energy to all.
“There is need for divestment from fossil fuel development to pave the way for the centralized energy system in mini-grids, off-grids and non-grids system in ways that individuals and communities can participate as producers and consumers in the energy production and supply chain as well as share in the benefits.
“A just transition in which climate and energy solutions becomes available to everyone, in which energy benefits are shared in a fair way between rich, poor citizens and Industries.”
The Lawmaker explained that the future which Nigeria needs remains energy access that is clean, reliable and affordable, healthy environment and decent green jobs.
He said the bill envisages a post petroleum economy for Nigeria, noting that with political will and the cooperation of all, Nigeria can transit to become a hub of renewable energy for Africa, if concerted actions are taken, such as the following.
“Put in place a Renewable Energy policy frame work as articulated in this Bill that recognizes the State and no-state actors roles and responsibilities in renewable energy
“Set policy target national energy access and decentralized renewable energy and task the federal, State and local government with responsibility with annual budgetary allocation.
“Provide zero percentage duty and VAT on a full range of decentralized renewable energy product and component. Stop fossil fuel extraction while reducing current activities at the rate required to meet the Paris agreement climate change target.
“Democratize energy solution by the use of people, power, citizens and villagers to shape local renewable energy solution
“Support local communities and workers in the transition from fossil fuels to green economy using grants, loans and subsidy beyond the enterprise modules.
“The main theme of this bill is leave the oil in the soil. A just energy transition is expedient.
The need for climate solutions equity beacons on all of us to support this bill.”