Since the new administration’s declaration, numerous organizations have issued calls to action highlighting central responsibilities of the State. A major energy solutions provider, The Electricity Hub (TEH) has followed this trend to raise concerns, currently 92 million Nigerians are still not connected to the national grid. Panelists at TEH 82nd Power Dialogue in Abuja over the weekend argued that the new administration needs to implement high-quality strategic plans if it’s actually committed to limiting the gap.
The Electricity Hub has suggested more funding and political stability as part of the remedy to the country’s long standing power shortage. They believed that a country’s access to power was a crucial economic driver, and that political stability was necessary for assuring long-term economic growth and increasing investment. For Nigeria to succeed, they argued that the country must create feasible plans and set the stage so that the new administration can swiftly begin to work towards achieving the goal.
Nigeria, country with the highest energy access deficit worldwide.
A recent Dialogue highlighted the importance of access to funds for attaining Vision 30:30:30 in Nigeria and addressed a strategy for securing funding for the next stage of the initiative. The government has already established Vision 30:30:30 in 2014 as part of the National Renewable Energy and Efficiency Policy, with the goal of achieving 30 gigawatts of power from an energy mix with 30 percent renewables by 2030 as a means to reduce the energy access gap.
Among the distinguished panelists were Azura Power’s Managing Director Engr. Edu Okeke, GVE Projects Limited’s Head of Marketing and Business Development Abigail Botsha, and the Federal Ministry of Power Director of Renewable and Rural Power Access Engr. Abubakar Ali-Dapshima, as well as the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria’s President, Ayo Ademilua. The panelists noted that the World Bank’s “Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report” for 2022 found that 45 percent of Nigerians, or 92 million people, were without access to grid power as of the end of the year, this positioned Nigeria as the country with the highest energy access deficit worldwide.
Vision 30-30-30 is a framework to increase renewable energy percent.
To achieve this lofty objective, the panelists all agreed that access to capital is crucial. Engineer Abubakar Ali-Dapshima outlined the 30-30-30 vision as a framework to help the government increase the percentage of renewable energy in the energy mix. He described numerous initiatives underway at the Ministry of Power to expand public and private sector access to electricity. Furthermore, he detailed the initiatives taken and incentives offered by the government to entice private sector participation in partnership with the government in the power industry.
Mr. Ayo Ademilua discussed the necessity of certified harmonized analysis in order to fully grasp the breadth of the country’s served, unserved, and underserved regions in terms of energy access. He also advocated for a uniform monitoring and reporting framework on energy access projects in the country to keep track of progress, as well as policies that encourage reaching the last miles and underserved communities, increasing capacity, and improving transmission infrastructure. Having a reliable grid is essential, as pointed out by Engr. Edu, but securing the necessary funding is more crucial for Nigeria to build a solid strategy.
Government policies as the industry’s biggest obstacle.
He recommended allocating 30% of government resources to policies, 30% to processes, and 40% to projects, with an emphasis on projects that would stimulate investment from the private sector. Edu explained that unfavorable policies were to blame for the exodus of many investors from the country. He maintained that money only flows to places where it is welcome, as the point of any investment is to make money rather than help others. He cited government policies as the industry’s biggest obstacle, noting that the government’s role is to set standards and build infrastructure, while the private sector’s role is to uphold those standards and regulations.