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Stakeholders commit to enhancing transitioning to sustainable clean cooking

The Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves organised the 2022 Annual Clean Cooking Forum to discuss how to transition all Nigerian households and institutions to clean cooking.

Clean cook stoves
Improved cook stoves

For two days from October 6 to 7, 2022, key stakeholders converged on Abuja for the Annual Clean Cooking Forum to discuss plans for the widespread adoption of clean cooking solutions in Nigeria.

Ewah Otu Eleri, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (who organsed the event), detailed the negative health, economic, and environmental consequences of inadequate access to clean cooking solutions in Nigeria in his welcome address.

He commended the Federal Ministry of Environment for spearheading efforts to expand clean cooking in the country and urged all stakeholders to contribute meaningfully to the new clean cooking policy that is currently being developed.

Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, represented by the Director, Department of Climate Change in the Ministry and Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cooking, Dr. Iniobong Abiola-Awe, welcomed stakeholders present and urged the gathering to come up with plans for expand access to clean cooking in Nigeria, especially in the development of enabling policies.

He informed the gathering that Nigeria is targeting zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, adding that the Energy Transition Plan launched by the government aims to achieve universal access to sustainable energy services by 2030, in addition to other benefits.

The minister stated that the ministry has always spearheaded the promotion of clean cooking in Nigeria and has taken further steps in this regard, including the establishment of a Clean Cooking Unit within the ministry and the initiation of programmes and projects. He urged stakeholders present to work with the ministry in the implementation of the clean cooking policy when finalised.

Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, represented by Acting Director, Renewable and Rural Power Access, A. D. Abubakar, thanked the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cooking for their foresight in promoting clean cooking in the country. He stated that there is a need for a multifaceted approach to expanding the clean cooking industry and expressed the ministry’s willingness to collaborate with other stakeholders to make the sector viable.

Senator Hassan Hadeja, Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, acknowledged in his remarks that while clean cooking has the potential to ensure universal wellbeing for all Nigerians, it has not received adequate attention. He also admitted that the problems associated with inefficient cooking are far more serious than previously thought. Senator Hadeja urged all stakeholders, including the National Assembly; to work together to ensure that most Nigerian households transition to clean cooking soon.

Chairman of the House Committee on Climate Change, Ibrahim Bukar, represented by the Clerk of the Committee, Mr. Ukwuta, thanked the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cooking for organising the event. He stated that the House of Representatives is committed to enacting enabling laws to combat climate change and reiterated the commitment of the House to promote enabling policies for the clean cooking sector.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, represented by the Director, Climate Change and Environmental Health, Dr. Shuaibu, in his goodwill message, highlighted some of the dangers of using traditional cooking methods, including pollution of the atmosphere and its attendant health implications. He called for sustainable synergy among stakeholders to grow the clean cooking industry.

He listed some of the initiatives by the ministry to include promotion of clean cooking in federal hospitals and public awareness of the dangers of smoke from cooking fires across all the states of the federation. He wished the forum fruitful deliberations and said the ministry is ever ready to promote actionable programmes within its capacity.

Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, represented by the Director of Planning and Research, Mr. Samuel Sol, thanked the organisers for coming up with the initiative. He said the agency has the vehicle to carry the message of clean cooking across all corners of Nigeria.

He revealed that the agency has offices in 812 locations covering all the 774 LGAs as well as state offices across the country and that these offices have the capacity to take the message of clean cooking to the grassroots. He said the agency is ever willing to work with the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cooking to deepen public awareness and conduct sensitisation programmes.

Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, represented by Lawal Bello, Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Retails, thanked stakeholders for developing the clean cooking for all agenda. According to him, the Federal Government has designated the years 2021 to 2030 as a decade of massive gas development. To achieve this goal, NNPC Limited is investing heavily in pipeline infrastructure to transport gas to all parts of the country. Furthermore, domestic supply has increased and now accounts for approximately 45% of total consumption.

In addition, he stated that NNPC intends to install LPG supply infrastructure at all of its 541 retail outlets, as well as build 37 filling plants and 750 LPG micro distribution centres across Nigeria in the coming years. He stated that, under the Marketer Cylinder Owned Model, the NNPC intends to distribute 20 million cylinders over the next five years and wished the gathering fruitful discussions and reaffirmed NNPC Limited’s commitment to collaborate with other stakeholders to grow the clean cooking industry.

Jochen Lucksheiter, Country Director of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, stated that while clean cooking does not generate the necessary headlines, it is a proverbial low-hanging fruit that can save lives and help Nigeria meet its NDC.

The Team Leader, Green and Digital Economy in Nigeria of the European Union, Ms. Inga Stefanowicz, represented by the Project Officer, Energy and Circular Economy, Mr. Geoffrey Ogbemudia, outlined some of the programmes the European Union has initiated to grow the clean cooking industry in Nigeria. These include support for a study on the use of LPG in household cooking and quantification of emissions.

This led to the development of the Nigeria Low Emissions Simulation Model (NILES), which is used for quantifying emissions savings from using LPG when compared with other traditional stoves. In addition, the EU is a major financier of the Nigeria Energy Support Programme. She advocated for the expansion of the LPG supply chain, improved policy and institutional frameworks, and the mobilisation of finance for the industry.

Head of the Nigeria Energy Support Programme (NESP) of GIZ, Mr. Duke Benjamin, represented by the Head of Unit, (On-&Off-Grid), Sustainable Energy Access, Mr. Olumide Fatoki, said the Programme is committed to expanding access to clean cooking in Nigeria as witnessed in the NESP 1. He said the ongoing second phase of the NESP is focused on expanding access to LPG for institutional cooking, including the distribution of up to 5,600 LPG stoves, and these are all part of its Nigeria Institutional Clean Cookstoves Acceleration Scheme (NICCAS). He acknowledged the gap in policy and pledged the commitment of NESP to support other stakeholders to develop an enabling policy for the clean cooking industry.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA), Dymphna van der Lans, in her goodwill message, expressed the delight of CCA to be part of the traction being built by NACC. She was also delighted that the issue of enabling policy was top on the agenda and pledged the commitment of CCA to continue working with NACC to grow the industry.

This year’s Clean Cooking Forum, according to the organisers, is building on the successes recorded over the past year, including setting ambitious clean cooking targets in Nigeria’s revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the ongoing development of a single National Clean Cooking Policy.

It also builds on the traction gained by the Federal Ministry of Environment based on recommendations from last year’s forum, including successfully establishing a Clean Cooking Unit within the Department of Climate Change with a strategic action plan. The ministry has also convened the Clean Cooking Committee within the year. These efforts and successes have ensured that issues around clean cooking are gaining wider attention.

The issue of a single national policy on clean cooking dominated discussions among stakeholders during the Forum. Presenting the proposed draft National Clean Cooking Policy, the Chief Executive Officer of Clean Energy and Safe Environment Initiative and National Coordinator, NDC Partnership, Huzi Mshelia, said the policy would be hinged on three pillars, namely: supply; demand; and enabling government actions.

Panelists and stakeholders made important observations and inputs for the new policy. Panelists from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the Energy Commission of Nigeria, the National LPG Expansion Implementation Programme, the Office of the Vice President, the Federal Ministry of Environment, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development presented an overview of the programme to grow the clean cooking industry in their respective offices.

Each institution called for the inclusion of issues around their mandate in the new policy so its implementation can be undertaken using a multi-stakeholder approach. To make the policy effective, stakeholders agreed to push for the development of a practicable action plan and push for the adoption of the policy by the Federal Executive Council.

Also, during the Forum, working groups on LPG, Biomass, Modern Cooking Energy Services, and Financing made propositions for integrating these and other cross-cutting issues such as gender, awareness, and social inclusion into the new policy.

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