Nigeria’s federal government and 15 other relevant stakeholders have publicly declared their intentions to provide access to electricity, using distributed renewable energy (DRE), to more than 50 per cent of the country’s population currently without any form of electricity.
Dubbed the ‘call to action’, the declarations included relevant and carefully thought-out government policies, and stakeholders’ approaches that would grow DRE deployment in Nigeria. It was initiated by the global Power for All, an inclusive DRE advocacy network.
Representing an important milestone in the acceleration of DRE market growth in Nigeria, the ‘call to action’ was the first ever declaration of commitment by key stakeholders to take robust actions to grow Nigeria’s DRE market.
According to Power for All, Nigeria has one of the greatest energy access challenges in the world, with about 75 million of its population un-electrified, the commitments made at the event in Abuja would subsequently drive DRE as the quickest, easiest, cleanest and most sustainable way of reaching the millions of un-electrified across Nigeria.
The commitments were made by the federal government through its ministry of power, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), REEEP/Winrock, Solar Nigeria Program, Nova Lumos Technologies, Azuri Technologies, Heinrich Boell Foundation and Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).
Other stakeholders that made the commitment included the Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Global Rights, Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation, Caritas, Lux Terra Foundation and Power for All.
Situating the importance of the commitments, country campaign director for Power for All in Nigeria, Ify Malo said at the meeting that while millions of Nigerians lack access to electricity, those connected to the grid still struggles with its challenges.
Malo emphasized the need to formally embrace DRE as a productive means of ending energy poverty in Nigeria. She noted that the call to action would clarify how the public and private sector can collaborate on initiatives and policies to ensure the growth of the DRE market in the country.
“While the government has made efforts and continue to make efforts towards resolving the issues with our national grid, it is obvious that the grid would still be unavailable to a large percentage of the population for a while,” said Malo.
According to her: “Nigeria currently has the largest DRE market potential in Africa and seated here today are the key players who will drive this market to achieve its full potential and deliver access to energy for millions.
“We have moved the first gear in this journey and are very excited about the prospects of this industry especially in contributing to the socio-economic development of the country and helping solve our electricity predicament.”