Minister of Environment, Hajiya Amina Mohammed, has said that the country is planning to develop about 13,000 megawatts (13 gigawatts) of off-grid electricity from solar energy.
According to Amina Mohammed, the government was working on the possibility of diversifying the country’s energy mix and laid emphases on renewable energy and efficient gas power in meeting the energy needs of Nigerians.
In a document issued to the media, Mrs. Mohammed revealed that, after the recently concluded Conference of Parties on Climate Change held in Paris, they plan to develop solar power in order to “deliver energy to the poorest communities in a cheaper and healthier manner with less emission.”
The minister also noted that the government would increase the use of climate-smart agriculture through irrigation systems, climate-resilient crops and broader sustainable land management practices.
“Given the climate risks that Nigeria faces, this is the only way in which the government’s ambitious Agriculture Transformation Agenda can be delivered,” she said.
“We also plan to create a more efficient, lower carbon oil and gas sector. By ending gas flaring and using the gas for commercial purposes, including power generation, we could generate as much as $7.5bn worth of benefits,” she added.
Mohammed said these opportunities would not only reduce emissions and improve climate resilience, but that the approach would unlock economic opportunities.
Amina Mohammed also said the World Bank has projected that a combination of low carbon activities could provide a boost to the Nigerian economy and add as much as two per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
She urged the international community to support and assist Nigeria with financing, technology and capacity building, just as she enjoined the private sector and civil society to partner the government to unlock the opportunities provided by the historic climate change agreement, emphasising that, “working together, I firmly believe that we can commit ourselves to actions that will serve as a springboard to Nigeria’s new climate economy.”
Recently, the nation has reportedly lost 1,153.66 megawatts of power, worsening the load shedding arrangement that electricity distribution companies have been subjecting their consumers to.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, however, informed the ministry would build some critical infrastructure to transport gas to the power plants in order to add 2,000MW to the country’s stock of power within the next 12 to 15 months.