Cooking gas. Photo credit: Climate and Cooking Gas Coalition
About 175 million Nigerians still lack access to clean, reliable and affordable cooking energy, the Minister of State for Power, Dr. Goddy Jedy Agba, has said.
Agba stated this during the sixth Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF2021) held virtually on Thursday, putting the global figure of people lacking access to clean cooking solutions at 2.6 billion.
The minister in his keynote titled: ‘Maximising Nigeria Energy Perspectives at COP26’, also disclosed that about 759 million people in the world with 90 million from Nigeria alone still don’t have access to electricity.
He said that the figures pose serious threats to achieving the Social Development Goal 7 (SDG7) targets; therefore, the world must find solutions to the issues as energy access is the life wire of every sector of the economy.
He maintained that the energy sector is a critical sector for climate change negotiations, saying: “As we engage in these negotiations in the run up to COP26 and beyond, it is critical that we work towards aligning on an energy transition outcome that is equitable, inclusive and just.”
He noted that with the help of the United Kingdom Energy Transition Council, Nigeria has developed its energy transition plan, but added that financing is most critical as several reports have indicated that there’s a huge gap between required investments and what’s currently being deployed.
According to him, “Unless these huge financing gaps are closed, there will be no just and equitable transition, and Nigeria and other developing nations will fall further behind in their stages of economic and human capital development.”
Agba told further stated that “on renewables and clean energy technologies, last year, the Nigerian Government committed to electrifying five million homes and businesses to empower 25 million people by 2023 using solar energy technologies like solar homes systems and mini grids.
“All these efforts show that clean energy transition in Nigeria has already begun, therefore, a successful outcome for Nigeria in COP26 process will now be to negotiate and secure offers of implementation support in the form of climate-smart energy finance and multi-stakeholders partnerships for technical support where required.”
Also speaking at the forum, the UKCOP26 Africa Regional Ambassador, Janet Rogan, emphasised that equitable and just transition is vital for the world to meet Paris Climate Change goal.
She assured stakeholders that the UK Government was working to bring investors, bankers, civil society organisations to the COP26 who will provide the needed funds to bridge energy gap in developing countries.
Pledging UK’s willingness to continue working closely with Nigeria to tackle the issues, the ambassador added that: “There’s need to strengthen international corporations to tackle these issues. We’ll continue to provide financial and technical support to Nigeria, which has the highest energy deficit in the world.”