Federal Government has unveiled plans to partner with the organised private sector in the bid to ensure effective implementation of the N9.6bn clean cookstoves project. The effort, according to Laurentia Mallam, minister of environment, was aimed at reducing death rate among women and children who were victims of use of firewood.
Mallam gave the assurance while addressing over 100 stakeholders representing energy companies, policymakers, donor agencies and NGOs at the ‘Clean Cooking Energy Expo and Conference’ organised by Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves’ recently in Abuja. Ewa Eleri, coordinator of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, lamented that Nigeria is facing a silent energy crisis, considering the huge number of households who lack access to clean energy.
Eleri who doubles as executive director of the International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development (ICEED) noted that “25 million households cook with wood in traditional open fire. “Smoke from the kitchen kills over 100,000 women and children every year. It leads to deforestation and costs poor families money and time that could be used for food, education and health care. The time to act is now.” He however acknowledged ongoing efforts by Federal Government, the Nigeria LPG Association and the organised private sector towards tackling the challenge.
In his remarks, Dayo Adeshina, president, Nigeria LPG Association, noted that Nigeria’s “current production of LPG is over 10 times the local consumption. We must set the policies right for this sector to grow.” Adeshina who expressed concern over government’s move to spend N9.6bn on purchase of clean cookstoves, however urged government to use the fund to stimulate local production of cylinders and cookstoves. He however urged government to “reduce tariffs, expand LPG infrastructure and provide access to finance. “Nigeria is a gas nation and our current production of LPG is over ten times the local consumption. We must set the policies right for this sector to grow.”