President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, his ministers, and Kandeh Yumkella, the Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All, havelaunched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative in Abujaand discussed the challenges and opportunities for the country and the region.
In the keynote address, which was delivered on Jonathan’s behalf by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Jonathan said: “Nigeria is fully committed to achieve the targets of sustainable energy for all by the year 2020”.
He urged UNIDO and other development partners to continue to support Nigeria in the country’s efforts to achieve sustainable energy for all – in order to “drive away poverty” and enhance overall socio-economic development.
In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. In response, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative to mobilise action from all sectors of society to achieve sustainable energy for all.
The Secretary-General set three interlinked objectives to be achieved by 2030: providing universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
“Put simply, we will not achieve our goal of sustainable energy for all by 2030 without Nigeria,” said Yumkella. “I commend the President, and his government, for their leadership, as well as their efforts to expand energy access.”
The event, which in addition to Sambo featured the Ministers of Power and Water Resources, included sessions focused on the challenges and opportunities for Nigeria in the sector, financing infrastructure for 2030 and the integration of local and regional energy markets.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum, the Senate and the House of Representatives (Parliament) also participated in the launching to underscore the importance of achieving sustainable energy for all.
During the event, Jonathan, through Sambo, reiterated his government’s commitment to increase energy access, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy.
The Nigerian Government’s engagement with the Sustainable Energy for All initiative will add to the significant momentum the initiative has generated this year. At the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June, substantial commitments to action were announced by Governments, the private sector and civil society.