The proposal, Wakil told ThisDay in a recent interview in Abuja, will likely become the new game changer in Nigeria’s renewable energy sector, ushering in a new strategy for initiating and implementing renewable energy projects in the country.
Crafted to amongst other objectives, aggregate and bring under one central management, existing efforts in renewable energies as well as federal government agencies involved in same, the minister explained that it had become necessary for the government to give priority attention to renewable and off-grid energy generation, hence, the proposal.
He noted that as part of the proposal, a presidential committee on renewable energy and energy efficiency is to be set up to include members from various government agencies that are involved in renewable energy.
The highbred committee, he said has also been proposed to be domiciled in the ministry of power, from where it could coordinate projects and initiatives in the renewable energy sector, with a specific mandate of making sure that these projects are in sync with the government’s objectives for the sector and are eventually completed.
“In Nigeria today, you see a lot of government agencies and parastatals with renewable energy departments; if you go to the NNPC, there is one, you go the Energy Commission, there is another, and so that is how uncoordinated the sector is in the country.
The proposal we have submitted to the president and we are aware has been given to the Economic Management Team for review and recommendations, will seek to harmonise all these efforts under one central coordination,” Wakil said.
He further explained that: “We proposed that the presidential committee on renewable energy and energy efficiency be set up by Mr. President who will either chair it or designate someone else to do that and domicile in the ministry of power, from where all efforts in the sector will be managed for efficiency.
We cannot have all our people connected to the national grid and that is why exploration and development of renewable energy in rural areas should be a priority to the government but that priority must then be matched with this level of commitment and coordination.”
Wakil noted that majority of Nigerians live within the rural areas of the country and as such may not get steady electricity from the national grid, hence, the need to encourage the use of renewable energy.
He also hinted that the international communities and development partners that are into renewable energy have expressed their support for such framework that seeks to coordinate activities in the sector.
Nigeria as reported has a good comparative advantage in various renewable energy sources; the country for instance lies within a high sunshine belt and has enormous solar energy and other solar related potentials and resources.
The North in particular provides a more viable potential for photovoltaic use with insolation of up to 7 kWh/ m2/day.
– This Day