The Minister of state for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor has said women can play key roles in providing solutions towards upscaling clean energy access and with their unique positioning, connect to communities to deliver sustainable energy products.
Ikeazor hinted this at the National roundtable advocacy on enabling policy and market environments for Women Entrepreneurship in clean Energy sector held recently in Abuja
Represented by her Special Adviser, Dr. Priscilla Achakpa, the minister said ensuring that women entrepreneurs are enabled in the clean energy sector is not only about women's rights but about creating sustainable and practical pathways to expand clean energy access and be in the front lines of combating climate change.
According to her, "To advance this role of women in Nigeria's sustainable energy sector, it is vital that relevant key stakeholders mainstream innovative approaches to proactively engage women in their efforts towards energy access."
The Country Director, Solar Sister Nigeria, Mrs. Olasimbo Sojinrin said women are key part of the solution to scaling up energy access.
She noted that to advance the role of women in Nigeria's sustainable energy value chains, it is vital that key stakeholders mainstream innovative approaches to proactively engage women in their efforts.
She opined that there is also the need to proffer solutions to some of the barriers that are hindering more deliberate engagement of women in the sector such as lack of finance and technical skills.
According to her, addressing women energy needs is a prerequisite for poverty eradication. "By selling, maintaining and financing sustainable energy products and services, women become active change agents in the energy sector. "she said.
In a goodwill message from Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Head PMU, Nigeria Electrification Project, Anita Otubu, said REA is committed towards ensuring that women in the energy sector (both service providers and beneficiaries) are recognized and supported.
Otubu noted: "For instance we have data indicating that of the 1358 Solar Homes Systems (SHS) connections recorded for Micro, Small and Mediums (MSMEs) under the SHS component of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), 250 are female owned.
She stressed: "It is our hope that more women owned energy companies will qualify for participation as the programme progresses."