In order to chart the way for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Nigeria, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and stakeholders in the energy sector have commenced the validation of a new energy master plan for the country.
At a workshop to mull over the new draft named National Energy Master Plan (NEPM) in Abuja, Lamin Beyai, country director, UNDP, noted how renewable energy and energy efficiency represent the cheapest and the fastest way the country could make clean energy available to rural communities, many of whom are not connected to the national grid.
“The master plan, which was first developed in 2003, is indeed long overdue for a review and for this process to be successful, we all agree on the importance of the efficient coordination of activities in the energy sector and hence this validation workshop.
“The master plan review is very timely in ensuring scaling up actions aimed at promoting increased access to energy. Having NEPM will not only bridge the policy gap that currently exists, it will also provide the much-needed strategic framework for the coordination of the energy sector within the country,” Beyai said.
He added that, “energy is the bedrock of any economy, and a key requirement for both social and economic development of any country.” The UNDP Country Director also identified power as one of the major catalysts for industrial development of small and medium scale-enterprises, a sector which he says, has provided employment for the majority of Nigerians.
Speaking at the same event, Abdu Bulama, minister of science, noted how the new document would be sensitive to current realities within and outside Nigeria.
“Energy plays significant dual role as an indispensable driver of growth in the economy and as generator of income for development in the country,” Bulama said.
In order to provide a framework for the implementation of the National Energy Policy (NEP) in 2007, the NEMP was drafted. The translation of the provisions of the NEP into a long-term National Energy Master Plan, for its implementation is in line with Article 5(d) of Decree No.62 of 1979, which empowers the Energy Commission of Nigeria to prepare, after consultation with such agencies of government whose functions related to the field of energy development or supply as the commission considers appropriate, periodic master plans for the balanced and coordinated development of energy in Nigeria.
Eli Jidere Bala, director-general, ECN, explained how the revised policy would answer many questions about government’s energy policy direction and planned activities on all energy types and crosscutting issues. “This is the type of document investors often sought for,” he noted.
At the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL), the UN secretary-general’s initiative launched the African Energy Leaders Group (AELG) bringing together political and economic leaders at the highest level to drive the reforms and investment needed to end energy poverty and sustainably fuel the continent’s economic future.
The AELG is formed to foster deep energy sector reforms, encourage innovative public-private partnerships, promote renewable energy, support technological innovation and seek ways to boost economic gains through the value chain.

Maureen Nzeogu
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