The federal government has called on all Nigerians to embrace and support deployment of clean energy innovations and solutions across various sectors of Nigerian economy, even as the world is moving towards use of clean energy technologies.
The minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, senator Adeleke Mamora, who made the call, at the Project Inception Workshop of the Global CleanTech Innovation Programme (GCIP), on Thursday, in Lagos, said innovative clean tech entrepreneurship plays a key role in climate action.
Mamora, who was represented by the director, Department of Environmental Sciences and Technology, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Peter Ekweozoh, disclosed that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to systematically address the challenges of deploying CleanTech innovations, through the GCIP.
To key into the project, the minister said a Project Steering Committee was set up at the ministry, adding that, members of the committee were selected from the pool of experts in the public and private sectors of the economy. “They are expected to make very important contribution to the development of our dear nation through this laudable project,” he added.
Mamora however commended the efforts of UNIDO for mobilising resources to pilot this project; GEF for providing the seed financial resources; the department of environmental sciences and technology of Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) for conceptualising the Nigerian CleanTech Innovation Programme (NC-TIP) that provided the national platform for this partnership with the GCIP being piloted by UNIDO and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and Co-creation Hub for providing niche technical services within the project.
He said the GCIP-Nigeria is to implement the project over the next three years in three components. “Component one is to be coordinated by the private sector represented by the Co-creation Hub; component two is being implemented by the public sector driven by the FMSTI and REA, while UNIDO is in charge of component three,” the minister explained.
With Nigeria’s population projected to hit 264 million by 2030, the director, Department of Environmental Sciences and Technology, federal ministry of science and technology, Dr. Peter Ekweozoh, said National and Subnational governments have put in place policies, programmes, projects and strategies to enable Nigeria attain Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, utilising the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to create mass employment and wealth.
Despite all these, Ekweozoh said, the Nigerian MSME space still does not have adequate technology innovation platforms specifically tailored for and targeted to clean energy technologies, start-ups and SMEs, adding that, there is dearth of financial schemes, poor access to available funds for clean energy investment projects and limited government financial incentives to support industrial enterprises in the uptake of innovation outputs in clean energy technologies.
However, the director disclosed that NC-TIP has provided the desired national platform for accelerated growth of the Nigeria innovation ecosystem and working with GCIP-Nigeria for the next three years, NC-TIP will strengthen the enabling environment and harness the requisite financial and technology support from development partners, the public and private sectors including multilateral agencies in order to provide the elusive economic lifeline to innovators and start-ups in MSME sector.
On his part, the chief executive officer, Co-creation Hub, Bosun Tijani said the GEF funded UNIDO-GCIP is built around adopting an innovative approach to enabling the CleanTech ecosystem by harmonising the contributions of critical actors while fostering an attractive business environment for the startups, SMEs and innovators.
With GCIP Nigeria, focusing on CleanTech start-ups and SMEs working on exciting and disruptive solutions, junior professional officer, Department of Energy Climate Technology and Innovation Division, Luca Longo, tells LEADERSHIP that the project will provide added value for domestic economic and industrial development by bridging the gap between CleanTech Innovators and investors, paving the way for new business opportunities.