At the two-day seminar, figures indicating that the State requires approximately $900 billion to boost the energy sector over the next 30 years were highlighted by the organisers of the Nigeria Energy Forum.
The forum’s theme was focused on “Energy Access Targets”, which Bamise Olanrewaju, the forum’s innovation and strategy lead official, stated that its aim was to ensure that Nigeria’s leaders take ambitious decisions to bridge the wide gap between energy demand and supply in the country.
Olanrewaju added that this in turn would help to realise the national energy access targets and meet the new United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.
[quote]In efforts to attract private investment into the sector, she listed a few developments that the country would have to implement including setting up local manufacturing energy system equipment.
“Nigeria has to build new power plants, develop new gas transmission infrastructure, expand the existing electricity transmission and distribution network, develop local manufacturing capabilities for energy systems equipment, and train professionals to operate and maintain the energy system,” she said.
Nigeria Energy Forum advises government
Olanrewaju further recommended that government would also have to develop innovative incentives and mechanisms to influence private sector investment for development of the energy sector.
She highlighted that Nigeria, being the largest economy in Africa, with a population of over 170 million people, 50% of the population does not have access to the national electricity grid, while only 18% of people living in rural areas have grid access.
“The nation has a peak electricity demand of 130,00MW with an installed on-grid generation capacity of 7,500MW, of which only 4,000MW is operable. About 90% of industrial consumers and a significant number of residential and non-residential consumers provide their own power at huge cost to themselves and the Nigerian economy,” she stated.
According to Olanrewaju, all of these technical hurdles would have an effect on the country’s economic growth, of which Nigeria is targeting to be among the world’s top 20 economies by the year 2020.