The Federal Government of Nigeria on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, reaffirmed its commitment to developing clean energy in the power sector.
The Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, made this known at the 2nd phase of the Energise – “the Career Fair for the Clean Energy Sector” – under the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP).
The NESP is a collaboration with the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Association–Alliance (REEEA-A), the European Union (EU) and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Aliyu was represented by the Director, Renewable and Rural Power Access of the FMP, Malam Abubakar Ali-Dapshima.
“Given the need for vetted, competent manpower to drive the energy goals in the sector, the FMP is happy to reaffirm its commitment to support capacity development within the power sector.
“This will be done through participation and support of this job fair initiative in the sector.
“It is obvious that creating an enabling environment is a critical component in the realisation of the vision 30:30:30.
“The renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) sector in Nigeria has continued to experience rapid growth, leading to an increasing need for a skilled workforce to support the doubling of energy access initiative of the Nigerian government,” Aliyu said.
Ms Inga Stefanowicz, the Head of Section, Green and Digital Economy of EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that in supporting youth empowerment and job creation in Nigeria, the EU had been active in unlocking finances to support and strengthen investment.
“In addition to supporting youth empowerment and job creation in Nigeria, the EU is very active in supporting the unlocking of financing that will help to further strengthen investment in the RE and EE sector.
“This will be crucial in creating even more opportunities for work and innovation in the sector,” she said.
In the same vein, the Head of Programme, NESP, Mr Duke Benjamin, said that the NESP had in its second phase intensified its efforts to scale capacity development in the RE and EE sector.
Benjamin, who was represented by Mr Olumide Fatoki, Head of Unit, Sustainable Energy Access, NESP, said that the Energise Career Fair added to a growing list of trainings, certification schemes and skills-matching efforts developed and implemented by the NESP.
He said that these efforts were developed with the support of its partners and commissioning parties.
“The pilot scheme, which kicked off in Lagos last week was conceived to connect professionals in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector with quality opportunities in the sector.
“Over 300 professionals and 25 companies participated in both the Lagos and Abuja legs of the Fair, which also provided for an additional 500 capacity virtual participants.
“One particular objective of NESP is to foster skills development in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector in Nigeria.
“In the past we supported several training institutes across the country in offering seven courses on clean energy.
“Now we want to create a platform that brings together companies in clean energy sector with skilled young professionals,” the NESP boss said.
Dr Aminu Isa, the representative of REEEA-A Steering Committee, emphasised the shortage of manpower to support development projects in the sector.
“There is an estimated need of 30,000 jobs to drive energy goals innovations efficiently in the country. We need to do more to identify the best talent and support them to find opportunities.
“To find the best opportunity suiting their skillset. This is one of the core objectives of the Alliance,” Isa said.
The Nigeria’s Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP) seeks to increase the supply of renewable electricity from 13 per cent of total electricity generation in 2015 to 23 per cent in 2025 and 36 per cent by 2030.
In March 2020, the federal government launched the $200 million Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) to provide off-grid energy to over 500,000 people across 105,000 households in rural communities across the country.
The project, sourced from the African Development Bank, was launched in Abuja.
The off-grid solution will also provide clean and reliable energy to 20,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and halt of 1.69 million tons of carbon emission into the environment.
Speaking at the event, Ahmad Salihijo, managing director of the Rural Electricity Agency (REA), said the project is the largest single investment stream in Nigeria’s off-grid sector to increase access to electricity through mini-grids, the solar home systems.
By Maureen Okon