All around the world, the quest for sustainable green energy has become a major panacea for tackling various challenges militating against the development of man. The roles of energy as a commodity for foreign exchange earnings and an instrument for growing other sub-sectors of the domestic economy as well as mechanism for international politics cannot be overemphasized with the energy consumption of the entire world increasing on daily basis.
For businesses, education, economic growth, agriculture to change positively in number and to impact lives, energy is a major solution that must be considered. In Nigeria, energy generation has been dwindling which has been crippling the country’s economic development and causing decay in infrastructure.
The United Nation Development Program in its effort to ensure affordable energy for all with the intention of improving standard of living in the country has recognized that access to modern and affordable energy services in developing countries is a vital instrument for achieving sustainable development.
It is with this intention in 2011 that the United Nation General Assembly launched the sustainable energy for all known as Energy for All Initiative which is also known as SE4ALL with the basic functions of ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by the year 2030.
Speaking at a two-day technical validation workshop on sustainable energy for all action agenda in Abuja, the Country Director of United Nation Development Program, Pa Lamin Beyai, represented by Muyiwa Odele, a Senior Analyst said that the initiative has fifteen years timeline to meet the SE4ALL target.
The workshop that was organised with the Energy Commission of Nigeria brought different stakeholders in private sector, civil society, government and media together to forge a better way for clean energy consumption.
It would be recalled that in 2012, the Federal Government joined the global community by formally launching the SE4ALL initiative in Nigeria to articulation strategies and activities for promotion of sustainable energy which the country really needs now.
Bayei said that the UNDP has been working in partnership with Energy Commission of Nigeria under the access to clean energy partnership framework towards the achievement of SEE4ALL targets, as evidenced by the quality and nature of projects implemented to date.
“UNDP with the support from the Global Environment Facility, the Energy Commission of Nigeria launched the Energy Efficiency Program to put in place minimum energy performance standards for two major sets of appliances – lighting and refrigerators for regulation of sub-standard product”, he said
He also mentioned that the agency supported the government to establish standard energy efficiency testing labouratory for lighting appliances and refrigerator at the Standard Organisation of Nigeria for quality standardization.
The Country Director also revealed that UNDP partnered with the Bank of Industry to inaugurate access to renewable energy project with the aim of catalyzing private investment in the renewable energy sector in Nigeria through SMEs grants.
Also speaking at workshop, the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonaya Onu lauded the SE4All initiative with the view to bringing all sectors of the society together, government, private sector civil society organizations and academia – to support three interlinked objectives of ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by year 2030.
The minister mentioned that achieving SE4ALL objectives for the country requires specific strategies and action plans across government ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) to support the mainstreaming of energy into the development process.
Onu said that all sectors in the country must be sensitized to create awareness among the key economy sectors and actors like the private sectors and actors like the providers of energy services (public sectors, private sector, CSOs) and the energy end users (agriculture, small business, industry, health, education, etc. at all levels (local, state and federal)
“For the country to facilitate Nigeria key-in- into SE4 all initiative, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) with support of Energy commission in Nigeria must consider a rapid assessment and gap analysis for Nigeria and draw up action plan for realization of SE4ALL in the country”, he said.
He said further that renewable energy is inexhaustible as it reduces sole decency on fossil fuels and improves security of energy supply, reduces greenhouse gas emission; create environmental and social benefits to deliver green jobs to the economy
The minister also affirm the commitment of the country to accelerate the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the country that is well set out in the National Energy Policy, the renewable energy master plan and vision 2020-20 for the country to be among the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.
In the same vein, the Director General of Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala said that energy is essential in driving and growing national economies as well as improvement in standard of living of mankind with fuels, electricity and process being the most relevant forms of the final energy.
Bala stressed the effort of UNDP with ECN to provide affordable and clean energy to people which made energy workshop to be held in 2012 and 2013.
“The next step in the SE4ALL milestones is the preparation of the country specific action across government ministries and departments to bridge the gaps earlier identified in line with international template”, he said.