SDG-7 not achieved without Nigeria in dialogue to end energy poverty – Ogunbiyi

Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All has said that Nigeria is key in the global dialogue to end energy poverty.

Ogunbiyi, a Co-Chair of UN-Energy and commissioner for the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty further explained that achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) hinged on Nigeria involved in the conversation to end energy poverty.

The UN SDG-7 calls for access to reliable, affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Nigeria with about 200 million people however has about 55 per cent of its people without electricity. The country also has frequent power cuts in places with connection.

But speaking during a webinar ‘Achieving economies of scale in the Nigerian solar value chain’ which was organised by SEforALL and Shell-funded impact investor, All On, Ogunbiyi stated that Nigeria’s peculiar energy poverty situation make it key in conversations about ending energy poverty.

“Everybody that knows me know that I am not just working in Nigeria because I am Nigerian, I am working in Nigeria because if Nigeria isn’t part of the global conversation to end energy poverty, we just won’t achieve it,” Ogunbiyi stated, adding that, “There are about 85 million Nigerians that don’t have access to energy now.”

She further stated that the Nigerian government was determined to make sure that differs and noted that funding for renewable energy projects which could help lower the country’s energy poverty level was available in some sort with the country now needing to scale up its deployment.

Similarly, Ogunbiyi explained that the country’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) now has data that shows developers where people without access to electricity are, and that this is saving developers thousands of dollars while creating an enabling environment for clean energy market.