The European Union (EU), has described ongoing power transformation in Nigeria as key to national development and as such, made pledges to finance some key capital projects to facilitate the process.
Ambassador David Macrae who led a delegation of the EU team to the ministry of power, said the power transformation is critical and that the EU was fully in support of the initiative and would also support the process with capacity building to train Nigerians for sustainability of the sector.
Receiving them in the office, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said government is considering hydro focus of new energy mix because of environmental degradation associated with fossils power generation. Igali said that apart from being environmentally friendly, small hydro power generation can be transmitted off grid for use by small rural communities around the dams.
He said there are about 200 Dams across the country that were hitherto constructed for purely irrigation purposes, but can now be adaptable for electricity. He said the concomitant multiplier effect in agricultural value chain is unimaginable, employment generation and empowerment would naturally follow.
While commending the European Union for its unrelenting assistance in critical areas of the nation’s economy, the Permanent Secretary assured the delegation that the waste associated with gas flaring would soon be a thing of the past. He said that our Independent Power Projects (IPP) were designed to take advantage of our gas potentials. The Permanent Secretary called for partnership with the European Union and other development partners to provide uninterrupted electricity in Nigeria. “We need to leverage resources from European Union, World Bank, African Development Bank and others to develop our renewable”. For instance, study has shown that in the North, apart from solar, wind energy source abound.
Macrae who described Nigeria’s energy sector as priority to the EU, assured of making critical contributions to ensure successful transformation, saying the EU is allying with the planned arrangement to bring to Nigeria trainers, rather than Nigerians going abroad for such training.
This, he reasoned, is not only cost effective but would afford more Nigerians to be so trained. He also said that EU programmes will touch on bringing up stream, renewable energy potentials, adding that the EU is interested in ensuring effective power transmission to the rural areas through Rural Electrification programmes.