About 90 million Nigerians have no access to electricity supply, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has revealed.
At the annual international conference of the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL), University of Ibadan, Fashola said: "Africans have trillions standard cubic feet (SCFs) of natural gas reserves, billions of barrels of crude oil reserves and billions of tonnes of coal.
Africa has even greater abundance of renewal energy resources, but unfortunately, of the nearly 1.5 billion people estimated to lack electricity supply the world over, half live in Africa.
Nigeria alone is estimated to have over 90 million people living without electricity supply, according to the World Bank."
The minister said to make electricity available to all Nigerians, efforts must be focused on developing renewable energy along with conventional power plants.
According to Fashola, renewable energies are the fastest power plants that can be deployed as the technologies required are compatible with what he described as the nations decentralized and standalone ideal for local communities. He stressed the need to improve the transmission grid.
The minister was represented by the Acting Director, Renewable and Rural Power Access Development, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Faruk Yabo at the event which drew participants from about 20 African countries. He spoke on "Developing Renewable Energy in Africa: The Interplay of Technology, Economics and Law."
To improve electricity in Nigeria, Fashola said the "Federal Government is implementing off-grid renewable energy solutions such as rural mini-grids, standalone home solutions, IPP for federal universities, teaching hospitals and large-scale solar PV projects such as the Jigawa solar city.
"In 2018, we are making efforts to complete and commission the following renewable energy projects: 10 MW Katsina wind farm, 30MW Gurara Hydro Power, 29MW Dadin Kowa Hydropower and 40MW Kashimbila Hydropower, 700MW Zungeru Hydro Power and the 14 Solar IPP."
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr. Gbade Ojo, noted: "God has blessed us with abundant diverse natural resources that are continuously replenished continuously. But we need the policy to encourage investors in developing the technology for Africa and to also embolden financials to allocate huge funds to renewable energy development in Africa."