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Osinbajo advocates more private sector participation in energy transition plan

More private sector participation in Nigeria’ transition to green energy is crucial as it will help the country achieve its objectives in the implementation of its Energy Transition Plan, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has said.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Thursday in Lagos at the 60th Anniversary Dinner of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Speaking on the topic: “Nigeria: Transitioning to Green Energy”, he described the Energy Transition Plan as “a comprehensive, data-driven and evidence-based plan, designed to deal with the twin crises of climate change and energy poverty.”

“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 loss in the oil sector due to global decarbonization. The Private sector must up its participation in the transition to green energy journey,” Prof. Osinbajo stated.

Buttressing the need for more private sector participation in the Energy Transition Plan implementation, the VP pointed out that the off-grid Solar space in Nigeria was ”becoming one of the most exciting in the world.”

“we have programmes such as the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Solar Power Naija (under its Economic Sustainability Plan), the Nigerian Electrification Programme with the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank, and also the Rural Electrification Fund providing almost $1 billion in financing and subsidies to drive 10 million connections. We are also working on clear guidelines for on-grid Solar before COP-27 to initially provide the structure for the rollout of at least 1,000MW”, Osinbajo explained.

He stressed the need for the private sector to also get involved in climate finance, especially the voluntary carbon markets, among others, and urged the OPTS “to take the lead in Solar to help drive improvements in the energy mix and also accelerate the transition to having “energy” companies, not just oil companies.”

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, aside from the need for more private sector participation in Nigeria’s energy transition plan, the impact of climate change on the African continent, need to support fossil fuel projects in developing countries, and debt-for-climate swap deals were major highlights of the Vice President’s speech at the event.

Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu