Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has expressed optimism of closing discussions with International Financial Institutions to raise needed funds to drive the country’s Green Energy Project.
Osinbajo, in a keynote address titled, ‘Nigeria Transitioning To Green Energy’ at the Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, 60th Anniversary dinner in Lagos on Thursday, said he was in close discussions with the World Bank and other key global financial institutions who have given assurances of supporting the country to transit into clean energy.
This he said is in line with the $1.35 billion Nigerian Green Energy Project under Team Europe Initiative (TEI), and the European Union (EU).
The project is meant to stimulate a sustainable climate-smart agriculture and renewable energy and create jobs for economic growth as well as help Nigeria’s diversification efforts.
The initiative will try to assist Nigeria achieve low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient development, job creation for youths and economic growth, focusing on climate-smart agriculture, circular and digital economy and improving the competitive advantage of Nigeria’s agriculture.
He said that Africa’s increasing energy gaps require collaboration to take ownership of the continent’s transition pathways and the action should be decisive and urgent.
The vice president who reflected on Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, explained that the plan provides a roadmap to tackle the dual crises of energy poverty and climate change.
He said “for Africa, the problem of energy poverty is as important as our climate ambitions. Energy use is crucial for almost every conceivable aspect of development. Wealth, health, nutrition, water, infrastructure, education, and life expectancy are significantly related to the consumption of energy per capita.”
The VP highlighted the significant scale of resources required to attain both development and climate ambitions. Nigeria would need to spend USD 410 billion above business-as-usual spending to deliver our Transition Plan by 2060, which translates to about USD 10 billion per year.
He therefore call on operating oil firms in the country to key into the project so as to bring it to fruition.
“The average USD 3 billion per year investments in renewable energy recorded for the whole of Africa between 2000 and 2020 will certainly not suffice,” he added.
Additionally, the Vice President noted that “we have an inter-ministerial Energy Transition Implementation Working Group, which I chair. We are currently engaging with partners to secure an initial USD 10 billion support package ahead of COP27 along the lines of the South African Just Energy Transition Partnership announced at COP26 in Glasgow.
LEADERSHIP reports that Nigeria country director for World Bank, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, said the bank plans “to commit over USD 1.5 billion towards the Energy Transition Plan on renewable energy, on power sector reforms, on clean cooking, and wherever opportunities arise.”
Also, Mr. Adam Cortese, CEO, Sun Africa stated that “the launch of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan has further accelerated our efforts, proving Nigeria to be fertile grounds for investments in the sector”. The company looks forward to seeking a USD 1.5 billion financing package from a US-based financial institution in support of Nigeria’s energy transition.
Speaking on the effects of Climate Change in Africa, Osinbajo explained that “climate change threatens crop productivity in regions that are already food insecure, and since agriculture provides the largest number of jobs, reduced crop productivity will worsen unemployment.
“It is certainly time for decisive action, and we just cannot afford to delay. African nations are rising to the challenge. All African countries have signed the Paris Agreement and some countries, South Africa, Sudan, Angola, and Nigeria have also announced net-zero targets.”
Giving more details on energy poverty in Africa, the VP noted that “the current lack of power hurts livelihoods and destroys the dreams of hundreds of millions of young people.
“And although Africa’s current unmet energy needs are huge, future demand will be even greater due to expanding populations, urbanisation, and movement into the middle class.
“It is clear that the continent must address its energy constraints and would require external support and policy flexibility to deliver this. Unfortunately, in the wider responses to the climate crisis, we are not seeing careful consideration and acknowledgement of Africa’s aspirations.”
Underscoring the importance of collaboration, he noted that “we developed our Energy Transition Plan to engage with the rest of the world in a serious, thorough and data-backed manner.”
Osinbajo explained that “there is a clear need for African nations to engage more critically and vocally in conversations on our global climate future.