Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has called for the legislation that will unbundle the energy sector, currently in the exclusive list of the Federal government.
The governor said this over the weekend during the inauguration of 85KWP Solar Hybrid Mini-Grid Project in Gbamu-Gbamu village in Ijebu East local government area of the state.
According to Amosun, the legislation would provide a clear framework and set boundaries for the involvement of states, local government authorities and private investments in the energy sectors.
“Let me seize the opportunity to appeal to all relevant stakeholders to work toward proper legislation for the participation of State and Local Government Authorities, respectively, and private investors in the energy industry.
“This will provide a clear framework and set the boundaries for the involvement of each participant in the generation, transmission and distribution of power.’’
The programme was jointly financed by the European Union and German Government under the Nigerian Energy Support Programme of the Federal government.
In his goodwill message, the European Union representative to Nigeria Kurt Cornelius said the project is in line with the priorities of the Union in Nigeria, saying alternative energy remain the only solution to energy problem in the country.
Cornelius said about 45per cent of Nigeria population are not connected to electricity while about $13 billion dollars is used on fueling generating sets on yearly basis.
According to him, €150 million has been committed to providing electricity in Nigeria with a focus on green and renewable energy.
He said, “We need to look at the importance of this energy support intervention in the concept of Nigeria. You will all agree with me that Nigeria is facing serious energy problems with about 45% still without access to electricity and those connected experience frequent power outage.
“Nigerians spent $13billion a year on private diesel operator generators in other to compensate for the electricity shortages. About 86% of the companies in Nigeria run or share a generator and about 48% of total electricity demand is covered by this private generators.
“These not only represent high unnecessary cost on people but have a very negative impact on the environment. It’s however important to seek alternative solutions using renewable energies especially in rural areas.
“The EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, indeed, has made access to electricity and promotions of cleaner and energy solution a core part of its cooperation in Nigeria.
“€150 million has been committed in the current programme and actions for access in the area of access to electricity and to promote the use of renewable energy.”
Also speaking, the Consul Generals of United State of America and Federal Republic of Germany, John Bray and Ingo Herbert respectively said electricity generation, transmission and distribution remained serious challenge to Nigeria.
Bray said the US government is targetting 60 million new connections with 30,000 Megawatt of power through a programme tagged ‘Power Africa’.
He said, “One of the priorities of US government in Africa is power sector development, and programme to actualise this goal is called power Africa. We want to have 30,000 Megawatt of power in established 60 million new connections and what’s happening here today in Gbamu Gbamu is in support of that.
“We all know Nigeria face a lot of challenges in terms of electricity generation, transmission and distribution and part of the solution to the large problem is small mini grid solutions that can be deployed quickly in partnership with local communities and private sector.”