The incoming government of Muhammadu Buhari has been called upon by experts to address the poor power supply in the country.
The experts made the call at a forum on Nigeria’s energy future which was organised by the Lagos Business School’s Centre for Infrastructure, Policy, Regulation and Advancement; and the Heinrich Boll Foundation’s forum.
One of the experts, Ijeoma Nwagwu of the CIPRA, said little or no discussions had been held on how to permanently solve Nigeria’s energy problem.
She said, “The CIPRA focuses on research, capacity building and stakeholder engagement in infrastructure development by harnessing available resources, capabilities, and expertise to address challenges associated with the gap between existing infrastructure assets and the real demand for infrastructure.”
Nwagwu noted that detailed concepts and policies for the required increase in electricity supply had hardly been discussed in public even during the recent election campaigns.
She advised that if the incoming government was serious about creating jobs and ending insecurity, “it must deal with the reality that 80 per cent of Nigerians lack stable power supply and two-thirds of Africans, mainly in the rural areas, live without electricity.”
“This time of transition is the perfect opportunity for renewed, hopeful and strategic focus on energy poverty in Nigeria,” the CIPRA official added.
The keynote speaker and climate change expert, Hans Verolme, emphasised the role of energy as the backbone of Nigeria’s economic, social and environmental development.
Verolme stated that Nigeria needed to work on its carbon dioxide emission reductions and its energy options. He identified hydro and gas as having the highest potential to ensure clean, reliable and affordable energy for Nigeria.
Also, the HBF Director, Christine K, said that it was vital for the country to carefully consider its options for electricity generation since any decision reached by the incoming government would have far-reaching effects.
She said, “Most Nigerian experts favour an expansion of the national grid fed by power from fossil fuels such as oil and gas. Given that the infrastructural choices taken today will lock Nigeria onto a certain energy pathway for the next 30 to 50 years, a wider discussion of the implications of these infrastructural choices is necessary.”
Mrs. Jonathan, who was making her first public appearance after Jonathan lost the March 28 election, read the first lesson of the well-attended service from 1st Timothy 6:11-19.
During the service, she danced with her husband to the altar.