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VP Osinbajo launches Energy Transition Plan

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Africa’s increasing energy gaps require collaboration to take ownership of the continent’s transition pathways.

Prof Osinbajo stated this in his remarks delivered at the global virtual launch of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, a roadmap to tackle the dual crises of energy poverty and climate change.

”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.” VP noted.

The Vice President highlighted the significant scale of resources required to attain both development and climate ambitions.

Transition Plan ahead of 2060

Nigeria would need to spend $410 billion above business-as-usual spending to deliver our Transition Plan by 2060, which translates to about $10 billion per year.

“The average $3billion per year investments in renewable energy recorded for the whole of Africa between 2000 and 2020 will certainly not suffice,” He added.

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 $10 billion support package ahead of COP27 along the lines of the South African Just Energy Transition Partnership announced at COP26 in Glasgow.”

At the virtual event, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, Nigeria Country Director for World Bank said the bank plans to spend over USD 1.5 billion towards the Energy Transition Plan on renewable energy, on power sector reforms, on clean cooking, and wherever opportunities arise.

Mr Adam Cortese, CEO, Sun Africa expained 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. We are in the final stages of discussion with US EXIM Bank on a USD 1.5 billion financing package.”

Effects of Climate Change

On the effects of Climate Change in Africa, Prof 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.” Prof Osinbajo stated.

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, urbanization, 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.”

Vice President then noted that “we developed our Energy Transition Plan to engage with the rest of the world in a serious, thorough and data-backed manner.”

Prof Osinbajo explained that “there is a clear need for African nations to engage more critically and vocally in conversations on our global climate future.

Energy for Development

“More importantly, we need to take ownership of our transition pathways and design climate-sensitive strategies that address our growth objectives. This is what Nigeria has done with our Energy Transition Plan.”

Making reference to the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan, the Vice President said “the plan was designed to tackle climate change and deliver SDG7 by 2030 and net-zero by 2060, while centering the provision of energy for development, industrialization and economic growth.”

According to him, “we anchored the plan on key objectives including lifting 100 million people out of poverty in a decade, driving economic growth, bringing modern energy services to the full population and managing the expected long-term job losses in the oil sector due to global decarbonization.

“The plan envisions vibrant industries powered by low-carbon technologies; streets lined with electric vehicles and livelihoods enabled by sufficient and clean energy.”

Roadmap to industrialization

On other aspirations of the roadmap, Prof Osinbajo explained that “the plan has the potential to create about 340,000 jobs by 2030, and 840,000 by 2060. It also presents a unique opportunity to deliver a true low-carbon and rapid development model in Africa’s largest economy.”

“We are currently implementing power sector initiatives and reforms focused on expanding our grid, increasing generation capacity, and deploying renewable energy to rural and underserved populations.” He stated.

Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi; Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola and Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency, Ahmad Salihijo and other foreign dignitaries.