The Federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves have resolved to continue to work on expanding access to clean cooking solutions in Nigeria.
The legislative arm of government has also declared that it would work with the executive arm to ensure adequate legislation that supports small and medium scale clean cookstoves manufacture.
These formed major outcomes of the Nigeria Clean Cooking Forum 2017, where a new course was charted for the promotion of Made-in-Nigeria clean cookstoves. The event, which was held on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 in Abuja, had in attendance over 200 stakeholders from government, private sector, NGOs/CSOs, finance institutions, the international community as well as the media.
The Forum expressed support for the efforts of the Federal Government to scale up domestic production of clean cooking solutions in Nigeria as well as contributing to meeting the country’s obligation to the United Nations climate change agreements of which Nigeria is a signatory.
The Forum was declared open by the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, who lamented that, despite Nigeria’s huge clean energy potentials, majority of Nigerian households unfortunately still rely on solid biomass for cooking. He noted that the Federal Government was committed to local production and use of clean cookstoves, which has the potential to help Nigeria meet its obligations in the National Determined Contributions (NDCs), agreed upon at the Paris climate summit.
He said: “Access to clean cooking solutions is the right of every Nigerian and the forum’s outcome should address concrete and practical solutions to develop and expand the domestic market for clean cookstoves.”
President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, in a keynote address, recognised the enormous challenges of using firewood for cooking and the co-benefits of using clean cookstoves such as LPG, ethanol, efficient use of solid bio-fuels and other clean fuels.
Saraki, represented by Senator Abu Ibrahim, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, “Access to clean cooking solutions is the simplest and most basic dividend of democracy every Nigerian should enjoy.”. He pledged that the legislative arm of government would work with the executive arm to ensure adequate legislation that supports small and medium scale clean cookstoves manufacturers in line with the Made-in-Nigeria campaign.
National Coordinator of Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Ewah Eleri, in his welcome address acknowledged the efforts of various partners and stakeholders from government, private sector, NGOs/CSOs and the international community in moving the clean cooking industry forward. He noted that, despite their efforts, the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is struggling to achieve its objectives and urged that deliberations of the forum should chart a practicable way forward for the development of the sector.
Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General and Nigeria’s former Minister of Environment, in a video message, pointed out that, as a result of the efforts of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and other stakeholders around the world, clean cooking solutions have been included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in the commitments of many countries in the Paris Agreement on climate change. She stated that “the United Nations is committed to supporting efforts in expanding access to clean cooking solutions across various countries including Nigeria”.
Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Chair, Senate Committee on Climate Change and Ecology, urged that the outcomes of the forum be translated to local languages for the consumption of the general public.
Samuel Onuigbo, Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change, stated that the legislature has taken appropriate steps in making a law on climate change and that, in due course, the details of the proposed law would be made public.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr. U. M. Ene-Obong, Director of Climate Change, outlined the health problems associated with smoke from cooking in an open fire and noted that the ministry works with stakeholders to promote the rights of women and children which includes access to clean cooking solutions.
Representative from Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Mr. Patrick David, underscored the need for safe and environment friendly access to fuels and energy for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) as well as for the need to disseminate clean cookstoves country wide.
The forum also agreed that there is need for adequate financing of clean cooking solutions in the country. In this regard, Bank of Industry and the Federal Ministry of Environment mentioned the different sources of financing mechanisms including the Green Climate Fund and Micro Credit.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, represented by Dr. Peter Yerima Tarfa, Director, Department of Climate Change, in his closing remarks, appreciated all participants, stating: “The huge participation shows the importance of the forum.”
He urged all participants to keep spreading the gospel of clean cooking across the country and re-emphasised that the ministry would continue to support and partner with the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to actualise the resolutions of “this great event”.
About 20 organisations showcased their clean cooking solutions. There was a musical performance by a rap duo named “Floss”. Their message essentially talks about elimination of smoke from Nigerian kitchens through the adoption and use of clean cookstoves.
The Nigeria Clean Cooking Forum is an annual gathering of government, professionals and entrepreneurs working to accelerate the production, deployment, and use of cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels.
Research has confirmed that smoke from the traditional use of firewood is estimated to cause 95,000 deaths annually in Nigeria. After malaria and HIV/Aids, this is reportedly the third highest killer mostly of who are women and children. Women and the girl child walk long distances and spend hours a week in search of firewood. Even though the country is one of the world’s largest exporters of LPG, most Nigerian households rely on firewood for cooking. This also contributes significantly to deforestation as well as the attendant consequences of climate change.
Clean cooking will save lives, empower women, improve livelihood and combat climate change, according to researchers, adding that it is a priority area in energy access that is central in achieving the goals of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative in Nigeria.
“Clean cooking energy for all is not only possible but a right for the Nigerian citizens. The domestic market for clean cooking solutions must be developed through innovative partnership and support, thereby the government and private sector need to stimulate the market for ‘Made in Nigeria’ clean cookstoves,” said Eleri.