The Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, has advised African countries to develop renewable energy opportunities to avoid being left behind.
Aliyu gave the advice at the end of the three-day Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit on Friday in Abuja.
He said that African countries should put strategies and plans in place to develop their renewable energy as the world was gradually moving towards less dependence on fossil fuels.
The theme of the summit is “Towards a Greener Africa”.
He said that some countnes that have abundant water resources, sunlight, wind should begin to embrace technologies that would enhance these capabilites for commercial purposes.
“Dependence on fossil fuels and hydrocarbons will soon be unsustainable as we match towards our vanous Net Zero commitments and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
“For Nigeria, we have committed to Net Zero by the year 2060.
“In the light of the global challenge of rising temperature and our collective resolve to reduce it to below 1.5 Degrees centigrade, countries must explore ways to develop renewable energy.
“It is interesting to observe that most Africans do not have access to electricity,” he said.
He said that Africa had abundant renewable energy potentials which could provide significant power leading to economic growth.
“We are all aware that access to Power leads to faster economic growth of nations.
“To deal with the challenges nations are facing, we must put in place frameworks and effective mechanisms for collaboraton and cooperation in areas where there are commercal strengths and advantages, particularly within the renewable Energy space.”
He said that Mohammadu Buhari-led Government had put enabling structures in place to encourage and attract potential investors to seek opportunties of collaboration on the African continent, especially in the power sector.
“For example, the West African Power Pool (WAPP) programme affords us the opportunity to work with other African countnes to build a 330kV Double Circuit Line from Bimin Kebbi all the way to Burkina Faso, passing through Niger, Togo/Benin.
“Also, we are building AKK Gas Pipeline project passing through Ajaokuta, Kaduna and through North Africa to Europe.
“Furthermore, we have built another Gas pipeline from Escravos to supply gas to Ghana with connection points at Benin Republic and Togo. To survive as a continent, we must collaborate.
“Countries like Nigeria, have made commitments to achieve their Natonally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the COP26 Agreement in Glasgow.
“To achieve this, we have to scale up our Solar, Wind, HydroPower and even the new Hydrogen opportunities, including other new clean technologies.
“Africa needs to focus on proven approaches, as well as the mobilisation of resources to take advantage of carbon-neutral energy sources.
“We must devise innovative ways to access funds while also sustaining the increased investments in carbon energy sources and create enabling environment for broader sustainable development.
In her closing remarks, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade, the Permanent Secretary, Mines and Steel Development, said the three days summit had given an insight on the abundance of natural resources around to meet globally needed generations to come.
Akinlade said that numerous positions and points of view had been outlined and many messages were delivered, covering the whole spectrum of natural resources and energy seen from the perspective of producers, consumers and investors alike.
“Nigeria and indeed Africa needs to be up to speed in the drive for clean energy security, both in production and consumption.
“It has been stated that the conventional resources base is sufficient to meet the projected growth in demand with technology advances and breakthroughs being critical in supporting this process.
“It has also come through strongly in our discussions how overcoming the downstream challenges are equally as important as satisfying the upstream demands.
” On environmental concerns, we have listened to speakers stressing how environmental concerns will continue to have a huge bearing on energy resources, future direction with pressure mounting in favour of adherence to cleaner resources.
“We need to develop and implement robust response strategy in this direction.
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