Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that Nigeria’s off-grid solar space is becoming one of the most exciting in the world.
He, therefore, asked oil producers in the country to take the lead in solar electrification adaptation across Nigeria. He noted that Shell was sponsoring off-grid activities of AllOn and Konexa and urged other oil producers to invest in the sector, so as to close energy gaps in the country.
The vice-president spoke in Lagos while delivering his keynote address at the 60th anniversary dinner of the oil producers trade section at the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). He also appealed to oil producers in Nigeria to take the lead in solar electrification adaptation across the country. Nigeria in 2021, ranked fifth globally in sales volume for key off-grid solar markets.
Nigeria’s off-grid solar market opportunity is estimated at $9.2 billion per year, with the stand-alone solar sector alone receiving $227 million between 2015 and 2021. It is envisaged that by 2030, Nigeria’s national grid will not cater to the entire population, so off-grid solar solutions are needed for mass electrification, according to projections by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
But by 2040, the Nigerian government plans to achieve 100 per cent rural electrification with five per cent through stand-alone solar solutions. Osinbajo further said that Africa, being the least continent carbon emitter in the world, could industrialise using natural gas.
He stated that if all African countries, with the exception of South Africa, were to triple electricity consumption using only natural gas, the continent would add only 0.62 per cent to global emissions.
He particularly urged Nigeria to adopt the strategy of natural gas to industrialise. He posited that there was no economy in the world that has known to have used only renewable energy to industrialise. He advocated that Nigeria should exploit its abundant natural gas resources. The vice president also called for debtfor- climate swaps, which could benefit Nigeria.
Osinbajo said: “Given the escalating debt situations of many developing countries, including Nigeria, especially in the aftermath of C0VID-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, we should also bring Debt-For-Climate Swaps into the climate finance mix.”
The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have expressed commitment to Debt-For- Climate Swaps. The global banks, IMF and WB, in 2021, announced plans to roll out a debt-for-climate swap program, which will benefit highly indebted countries, many of them in Africa.
Also, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group in its 2022 African economic outlook, stated that debt-for-climate deals involve debt forgiveness on the condition that debt repayments are instead invested in climate change adaptation and mitigation to boost economic spending and accelerate private investments.
It opined that since these funds were invested in local currency, they are expected to reduce countries’ debt portfolios and their foreign exchange risk