For Nigeria to achieve sustainable energy and power supply, the adaptation of new technologies and techniques in transforming, transporting and distribution is required as necessary components of the power reform programme.
The Director General of the Nigerian Energy Commission, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala sounded the note of caution while presenting a paper titled ” making sustainable energy for all a reality” at a round table organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), in Abuja.
Prof. Eli who was represented by Mr. Okon Ekpeyong said ” these new technologies are necessary for the transformation, transportation and distribute process across the value chain of electricity supply”
According to him, ” sustainable energy simply means, the production of energy for development in harmony with the economy, environment and the consumers”.
He further revealed that Nigerian consume less than 30 mega watts per person with the installed capacity of the current power generation estimated at 4,000 mega watt. The statistics indicate the Nigerians may not be able to light the bulbs as the drive towards achieving sustainable power supply, unless steps are taken to ensure that the power reform programme succeeds.
Meanwhile, a 2013 survey indicates that over 1.4 billion people lack electricity supply around the world, thereby relying on burning firewood, coal and kerosene with 80% of the population in developing countries and sub-sahara Africa.
This account for 65% of the population relying on bio-mass energy sources like coal, kerosene and firewood for cooking among women and families in sub-sahara Africa.
This was the position paper presented by Prof. Yinka Omorogbe at her investiture as Professorial chair of the Nebo Graham Douglas distinguished professor of law yesterday in Abuja at a round table.
Prof. Yinka in her paper titled ” Law, Policy and Access to Energy “, say
Africa is a dark continent owing to energy use around the world through the composite satellite image of the world at night with Nigeria, gloomily illuminated from gas flaring field.
“Nigeria is in a dark geographical sphere marked in the satellite image with little illumination from gas flaring field, so predominant that you have increase use of firewood and coal that can hardly help Nigerians out of poverty, unlike renewable energy and gas for greater productivity”
“Sustainable energy therefore add value to the lifespan of the people where they refrigerate their food, use electricity to read as against the use of lantern while communication has improved due to power infrastructure”, the professor of energy law stated.
According to Prof. Yinka, the lack of sustainable energy is also accountable for time loss as people in the urban area where there is power supply can complete a task within thirty minutes which people in rural areas use four hours to complete.
“Nigeria is as strong as its weakest link, so we cannot continue in this regard as Nigeria is ranked second behind India on the list of countries without adequate access to electricity supply in the 2013 survey report, even though Nigeria is sitting on large field of energy resources” she noted.
She stated that the role of law and policy must stimulate activities that drives the energy sector. Law can make or break any sector, therefore the right to access to energy services that will encourage public\private investment must be put in place.
Nigeria must put in place, attractive legal framework that appeal to investors to turn around the energy sector thereby curbing the huge revenue loss and the potential risk posed to the environment and its inhabitants.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General of the Institute, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN) said, the Institute has helped tremendously to develop expertise in many field to position itself as the leading lwa research institute in Nigeria.
” We have developed a lot of expertise I many field that confer on us the mantra and status of the leading law research institute in the country” Prof. Azinge noted.
He further stated that the investiture of Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, one of the leading lights in Energy law, as the professorial chair of the Nebo Graham Douglas distinguished professor of law, is another milestone in expanding the frontiers of law and the sector.