Human rights’ activist, Omoyele Sowore, has lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari over claims that his administration plans to electrify five million households and twenty million people using decentralised solar energy solutions.
Taking a swipe at the president, Sowore described Buhari as a “joker-in-chief” who had failed at providing electricity for homes during six years of his tenure.
Sowore said, “What’s wrong with this joker-in-chief? You did 6 years and you couldn’t electrify six homes but want to electrify 5 million homes after your disastrous tenure! #Revolution Now.”
A statement by the presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying the federal government planned to electrify five million households and twenty million people using decentralised solar energy solutions.
The president said, “Nigeria’s commitment to a just transition is reflected in our ambitious Energy Compact, which includes the Government’s flagship project to electrify five million households and twenty million people using decentralised solar energy solutions.
“This is a major first step towards closing our energy access deficit by 2030. Nigeria’s commitment is also reflected in the development of our Energy Transition Plan, which was developed with the support of the UK COP26 Energy Transition Council.”
The Nigerian leader called for support from developed countries to unlock the financing needed to accelerate a just energy transition for all.
“The focus of our discussions on transition must now evolve how we help countries develop detailed energy transition plans and commitments to mobilize enough financing to empower countries to implement those plans,” he said.
According to him, the scale of financing required for Nigeria to achieve net-zero, amounts to over US$400 billion across the Nigerian economy in excess of business-as-usual spending over the next 30 years.
“This breaks down to US$155billion net spend on generation capacity, US$135billion on transmission and distribution infrastructure, US$75billion on buildings, US$ 21billion on industry and US$ 12billion on transport.”
The president, however, said that gas would continue to have a big role to play before it is phased out, explaining that solid fuel cooking is still wreaking havoc in Africa.
“As a global leader on the energy transition, it is imperative that I flag a major risk to development that stems from the current narrative around the energy transition, particularly on the role of gas and the lack of financing.
“Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan has laid out our roadmap to reach net-zero and highlights the scale of the effort required, which includes the development and integration of renewables into current grid infrastructure at tremendous scale and electrification of all sectors.
“This is challenging for any country, especially a developing country. On our development objectives, gas will have a key role to play here for some years before being phased out,” he said.