Representative of the South East on the Governing Board of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) and former House of Representatives Member, Rep. Sam Onuigbo has called on foreign and local investors to take advantage of the huge energy market in Nigeria and invest massively in renewable energy.
Rep. Onuigbo made the call while speaking on “Upscaling Regional and Local Renewable Energy Deployment in Nigeria” at the Africa Climate Summit’s Parliamentarians Dialogue 2023, which held at the Kenyan Parliament in Nairobi, Kenya on September 5-6, 2023.
Onuigbo who outlined that over 40% of Nigeria’s estimated 223 million population does not have access to electricity pointed out that with the country possessing abundant raw materials to generate renewable energy, all that is needed is the technology to service the ready-market.
Citing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s statement in his inaugural address on May 29, 2023 that “…electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Power generation should nearly double, and transmission and distribution networks improved. We will encourage states to develop local sources as well,” Rep. Onuigbo revealed that with the landmark Constitutional amendment by the 9th Assembly which removed electricity from the Exclusive List, and the enactment of the Electricity Act 2023, Nigeria has liberalized the electricity industry and thus made it very attractive for investors. According to the former National lawmaker, Section 142 of the Electricity Act 2023 established the Rural Electrification Fund, to achieve more equitable regional access to electricity and promote the implementation of mini-grid and off-grid renewable power systems for remote areas, unserved, underserved communities, and islands. This, he said liberalized the energy industry and now made it attractive, competitive, and decentralized.
Recalling that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a consummate democrat and transformative leader who changed the infrastructural and economic outlook of Lagos State during his time as Governor, Onuigbo empathized that the speed with which the President assented to the Electricity Act 2023 shows his commitment to revolutionalising the energy industry.
He therefore concluded by advising investors and their advisors not to repeat the mistake they made in the early 2000s when Nigeria privatised its telecommunications sub-sector and they refused to take advantage of the huge market, and today regret it. Nigeria’s energy market, he emphasized is a gold mine and early investors will benefit massively from it.