‘85m Nigerians do not have access to electricity’

…£1.5bn export finance for Nigeria untouched

The group managing director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, at the Energy Sustainability Conference (ESC) hosted by Energy Institute, Nigeria, in partnership with Department for International Trade, UK, said 85 million Nigerians do not have access to electricity.

The GMD was represented by Bala Wunti, group general manager (GGM), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).

Kyari, in his keynote address ‘Accelerating Sustainable Energy Solutions through Policy Formulation: Prospects and Limitations,’ said energy poverty level was devastating. In terms of energy consumption, Nigeria is still below 1kilowats per capita of electricity, which is low hence energy poverty is raging in the country.

“Nigeria should ensure that the country’s energy is secured, sustainable and available for its people. Accessibility is also key and it must be affordable to end users. These four mantras constitute energy security hence the need to make it cleaner presents a challenge for policy makers,” he said.

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Kyari told the audience at ESC conference that stakeholders must recognize the fact that oil and gas is still relevant with fossil fuel. The global energy crisis is an eye opener that the world needs fossil fuel without having credible replacement for it, hence it is over stepping its bound in a hurry to exit hydrocarbon.

Also at the conference, Chimwemwe Chalemera, country director, UK Government Department for International Trade, Nigeria, said the £1.5 billion financing set aside for Nigeria by the UK Export Finance, the UK government’s export credit agency, has remained largely untouched.

“UKEF is focussed on 30 countries in Africa with a combined market risk appetite of £58bn and in Nigeria, UKEF has set aside £1.5bn, which remains largely untouched – I should point out that local currency financing is available even in naira,” she said.

According to her, UKEF financing is provided either via a bank guarantee, where UKEF acts as a credit enhancer, or in limited circumstances via direct lending.

“We are keen to see how UKEF can support projects in the clean energy space here in Nigeria and if you feel you have bankable projects and want to explore UKEF financing, please do get in touch with me or the team and we can introduce you to the UKEF team,” Chalemera said.

She said as a collective global problem, tackling climate would require collective action, adding that the UK had asked other countries to do a huge amount to reduce carbon emissions as well as provide support for developing countries.

According to Chalemera, the UK have long been at the forefront of tackling climate change and decarbonising our economy adding that the country is in the prime position to support and partner with markets such as Nigeria to deliver energy transitional needs across the energy transition stages and deliver on climate ambitions.

“The UK’s renewable energy capabilities are a right match with the energy needs of Africa and Nigeria in achieving net zero ambitions. The UK offers new technologies, new ideas and new skills, vital to the success of a sustainable clean growth agenda for Africa.”

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