UNDP, govt, stakeholders mull new energy master plan
• Power restored in Maiduguri
THE United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and stakeholders in the energy sector yesterday commenced the validation of a new energy master plan for Nigeria.
When finally approved by the Federal Government, the document is expected to chart the way for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Nigeria.
At a workshop to consider the draft National Energy Master Plan (NEPM) in Abuja yesterday, Country Director of UNDP, Pa Lamin Beyai noted how renewable energy and energy efficiency represents the cheapest and the fastest way the country could make clean energy available to rural communities, many of whom are not connected to the national grid.
Beyai stressed: “ The Master Plan, which was first developed in 2003 is indeed long overdue for a review and for this process to be successful, we all agree on the importance of the efficient coordination of activities in the energy sector and hence this validation workshop. The Master Plan review is very timely in ensuring scaling up actions aimed at promoting increased access to energy and SE4ALL. Having HPM will not only bridge the policy gap that currently exists, it will also provide the much-needed strategic framework for the coordination of the energy sector within the country.
“Energy is the bedrock of any economy, and a key requirement for both social and economic development of any country. It is one of the major catalysts for industrial development of small and medium scale enterprises, a sector that has provided employment for the majority of Nigerians.”
Minister of Science, Abdu Bulama stressed how the new document would be sensitive to current realities without and outside Nigeria.
“Energy plays significant dual role as an indispensable driver of growth in the economy and as generator of income for development in the country,” he stressed.
“In order to provide a framework for the implementation of the National Energy Policy, in 2007, the National Energy Master Plan (NEMP) was drafted. The translation of the provisions of the NEP into a long term National Energy Master plan, for its implementation is in line with Article 5(d) of Decree No.62 of 1979 of the ECN’s mandate, which empowers the Energy Commission of Nigeria to prepare, after consultation with such agencies of government whose functions related to the field of energy development or supply as the Commission considers appropriate, periodic master plans for the balanced and coordinated development of energy in Nigeria.
Director General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof Eli Jidere Bala stressed how the revised policy would answer many questions about government’s energy policy direction and planned activities on all energy types and crosscutting issues. “This is the type of document investors often sought for,” he noted.
Meanwhile, corporate organisations, government and residents in Maiduguri metropolis, Borno State capital yesterday applauded the restoration of 24-hour uninterrupted power supply to the state by the committee on reconnection of power.
Confirming the electricity supply, Manager of Yerwa Business Unit, Engineer Haruna Umar said seven residential areas and industrial estates have been getting uninterrupted electricity supplies, since the reconnection of Borno State by the minister’s high-powered committee.