THE Federal Government, on Thursday, said Nigerians might not enjoy uninterrupted power supply, if the government continued to rely essentially on natural gas for the generation of electricity.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who made this known in Abuja, therefore, restated the urgent need by the Federal Government to diversify the source of energy needs of the country before meaningful industrialisation of the country could be realised.
Onu, while declaring open a two-day National Technical Validation Workshop on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), organised by Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in collaboration with the New Partnership for Africa‘s Development (NEPAD) Nigeria and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), noted that it has become urgent for the government to diversify its sources of energy, so that if one source has a problem, the other could make up for it.
He said the ministry would embark on research on how coal fire plant could be made more friendly to the environment.
According to him, “we have relied essentially on natural gas for the generation of electricity. This has created a lot of problems for the nation, particularly when gas supply is interrupted.
“The geographical location of Nigeria in the tropics gives us great advantage in utilising solar energy and also wind energy. We will also look at other renewable sources of energy.
“Virtually all the developed and emerging countries including the United States of America (USA), China, as well as Germany and Russia rely heavily on coal for electricity generation.”
Earlier, the Director-General of the ECN, Professor Eli Bala, stated that energy was essential in driving and growing national economies, as well as improvement in standard of living of mankind.
“However, secured, available and affordable as well as sustainable energy has eluded many economies including Nigeria. It is against this background that UN Secretary General, in September 2011, pronounced the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, with a view to bringing all sectors of the society, private, government, civil society and the academia to support the three interlinked objectives of ensuring universal access to modern energy services by 2030,” he added.
The UNDP Country director, PA Lamin Beyai, said the action plan was an articulated strategies and activities for the promotion of sustainable energy which Nigeria really needed.
He noted that once validated, the action plan would be a viable instrument to help coordinate strategies and activities to meet the objectives of Sustainable Energy for All Action plan.
In his keynote address, the lead consultant, ECOWAS Commission, Professor Ken Ife, called on all stakeholders to support the project which would put an end to energy poverty in Nigeria.