Nigeria least electrified country globally – Jeddy-Agba


Nigeria has scored another notorious first as the least electrified country in the world where over 90 million persons out of a population of over 200 million have not the least access to power supply.

The minister of state for power, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba, handed down the damning verdict while speaking at the 2021 edition of the Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF).

He said Nigeria remains the most deficient country in the world in terms of access to basic energy needs stressing that the huge figures in energy poverty remained a major challenge that must be resolved.

“About 2.6 billion people still lack access to clean cooking solutions. Unfortunately, Nigeria has the highest electricity deficiency globally with 90 million people ‘unelectrified’, while 175 million people lack access to clean cooking solutions.

“These are huge figures that must be addressed, because energy access underpins economic development and enables other human capital, capital potential, such as access to adequate healthcare services, quality education, and economic productivity,” he said.

He added that the energy sector will be a critical sector of focus for climate negotiations as energy production and consumption, including electricity, heating, and transport account for 70 per cent of global greenhouse gases emissions.

“As we engage in these negotiations in the run up to COP26, and beyond, it is critical that we will work towards aligning our energy transition outcome, which is equitable, inclusive, and just.

“This means, accounting for adverse realities and accommodating various pathways to meet net zero by 2050. In the case of Nigeria, a just and equitable transition will be one that addresses energy access challenges and looks to enable universal residential and industrial assets to gain sustainable energy,” he said.

Jeddy-Agba said a just transition in Nigeria will feature the use of both clean energy technologies and natural gas as it aims to achieve universal access to energy by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

“Figures show that this will require investment of over $400 billion in excess of business-as-usual spending between now and 2050, highlighting the scale of effort required,” he pointed out.

In his presentation, the director, energy financial solutions, policy and regulation at African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Wale Shonibare, who spoke on ‘Financing Africa’s rapid energy transition to net zero’, said there was the need for accelerated efforts to power the continent.

Shonibare stated that more than two thirds of the world’s population without access to electricity lives in Africa.

He said the figure upped two per cent in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of electrification projects.

“Africa’s expected demographic trend will worsen this situation as 57 per cent of the expected increase in the global population between today and 2040 will be in Africa.

“The five countries with the largest access deficit – representing 50 per cent of Africa’s deficit – are: Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda,” he said.

He maintained that the continent’s ambition to reach universal access by 2030 requires a fivefold increase in power sector investment, mostly in low-carbon generation and grid networks, adding that there was an urgent need for Africa to expand its energy infrastructure to serve its growing population.

He pointed out that despite being home to 17 per cent of the world’s population, Africa only accounts for four per cent of global power supply investment which makes it rank amongst the lowest in the world.

“Achieving universal access by 2030 requires a significant ramp up in spending to over $100 billion per year, with $51 billion for transmission and distribution lines, $34 billion for grid-generation and $17 billion for off-grid systems,” he added.


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