A former power minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has said Nigeria cannot afford to ignore prioritizing off grid power generation and supplies because she does not have all the monies required to take electricity to all her citizens, especially those living in far-flung rural communities.
He said Nigeria’s vast gap in access to electricity and potential long period of time it could take to connect more than half of her population to grid electricity were the reasons why the government should prioritize off grid power generation and supplies.
Nebo, stated this at a recent monthly power dialogue organised by Nextier Advisory in Abuja. He noted that there are too many Nigerians that live in rural settlements that do not have electricity because the grid was yet to get to them and may not even get there sooner, but can be electrified with off grid solutions.
He explained that to get these population of the country to access electricity, the government would have to prioritize investments in off grid renewable energy generation and supplies.
He asked that government, “encourage and support the deployment of renewable energy especially for rural electrification for areas far flung from the grid.”
Nebo also asked that plans and structures be put in place to reduce Nigeria’s reliance on fossil fuels and focus on a more diversified energy mix.
“Encourage and support embedded and captive power generation to increase access to power and reduce the focus on grid connection especially using a combination of smart and innovative technology solutions.
“Grid connection requires enormous capital requirements and resources that government cannot easily mobilize and would not be economically viable for private sector. Grid connection will catch up and meet up where embedded and captive cannot,” he added.