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Nigeria can leverage on renewables to industrialize— Rep. Sam Onuigbo



Sponsor of Nigeria’s Climate Change Act and former Member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Sam Onuigbo has stated that renewable energy can provide the energy needed by the country to fully industrialize.

Onuigbo emphasized this during series of interventions he made during the 14th International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA )Assembly; the IRENA Legislators Forum; Regional Energy Transition Outlooks in Africa : Operational Workshop on Regional Scenarios; World Future Energy Summit hosted by MASDAR, all of which took place between 16-19 April, 2024, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Reiterating that Nigeria has a huge energy market with about 90million underserved people, the former National Lawmaker said that the government has gone ahead to create enabling environments for the flourishing of investments in renewable energy in order to address this huge deficit in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR.

Elaborating on the concrete steps Nigeria has taken to make this possible, Rep. Onuigbo pointed out that the Constitutional amendment that removed electricity from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List and the subsequent enactment of the Electricity Act 2023 with provisions for off-grid and mini-grid generation and distribution of power are game changers.

He further stated that the Climate Change Act with its provision for research and development on renewables, Nigeria’s Clean Cooking Policy which seeks to achieve universal clean cooking energy access by 2030, and recent provision of subsidies to support the development and the operation of privately owned and operated solar hybrid mini-grids in unserved and underserved areas courtesy of a US$750m World Bank loan facilitated under the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project, are also proofs of the country’s commitment to provide fertile grounds for the country to benefit from the global ambition of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 and consequently industrialize therefrom.

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Nigeria is therefore a fertile ground for investments in renewables, he restated.

Sounding a note of caution, the Member representing the South East on the Governing Board of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) advised international investors not to repeat the mistakes made by their predecessors during Nigeria’s telecommunications’ sector revolution which saw many of them lose out on the huge market due to wrong perceptions and poor business calculations and decisions. He thus urged them to take maximum advantage of this opportunity both for the growth of their businesses, and the country’s growth.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates was agog within the 16-20 of April with several international events focused on renewable energy investments and expansion. Investors, innovators, academics, business leaders, heads of multinationals, heads of international organisations, Members of Parliament, representatives of governments, etc., gathered during this period to exchange ideas on how to attain global commitment at COP28 to triple renewable energy by 2030 and thus boost sustainable growth.