UNLOCKING NIGERIA’S ENERGY POTENTIAL: Germany Contributing to Renewable Energy Use in Nigeria
By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Nigeria is ranked as the largest economy in Africa and has the largest oil reserves in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It also offers great potential for renewable energy developments. However, the country’s power sector is unable to meet the increasing demand for electricity. In order to address the challenges in the power sector, the Nigerian government has initiated various reforms such as the power sector recovery program and also engaging with industry
players through various forums with the aim of providing consistent power generation in the country. For the private sector to play a more active role, there are needs to be further harmonisation across the institutional landscape and between the current political, regulatory and legal frameworks.
It is also necessary to build technical and administrative capacities so that the measures introduced by the federal government and the federal states can be properly planned and implemented.
This articles highlights how Germany have been contributing to Renewable Energy Use in Nigeria through various invesment programs and organizing events for investors to come explore the full potential as the Nigerian power sector is something very important in the West African region.
Over 40 years ago, Nigeria and Germany started a bilateral agreement fully supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. GIZ offers workable, sustainable and effective solutions in political, economic and social change processes. It is the aim to enhance
the capacities of individuals, organizations, and societies, so that partners can articulate, negotiate and implement their own ideas for reform and development.
GIZ currently has offices in the capital Abuja as well as in Jos (Plateau State), Minna (Niger State) and Abeokuta (Ogun State). In total, 31 international seconded experts, 122 national staff members and another 4 experts of the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) work for GIZ Nigeria.
As agreed between the Governments of Nigeria and Germany, GIZ works in major sectors with a particular emphasis on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which also comprises energy, agricultural value chains as well as support to the ECOWAS commission.
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) commissions and funds most of the organizations’ engagement but also other German federal ministries commission and fund GIZ with programmes in the field of international cooperation. Lately GIZ Nigeria receives increasing co-funding as an implementing agency for delegated cooperations of the European Union (EU) as well as by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and private businesses.
The European Union and the German government provided a total of sum €25m (N8.1bn) as energy support fund for the first phase of the Nigerian Energy Support Programme.
According to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, five states in the country are already benefiting from the NESP project, explaining that the programme was part of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative of the United Nations.
The Deputy Director, Renewable Energy, FMPWH, who doubles as the Country Focal Point, SE4All, Mr. Faruk Yabo, said that the NESP One is being funded by approximately €25m, which is the contribution from the European Union and the German government.
On locations where the NESP was implemented, Niger State government is one of the five partner states that is under the Nigerian Energy Support Programme, funded by the German government and the EU, and is implemented by the Ministry of Power together with the GIZ.
Aside from Niger, other states in the partnership include Sokoto, Cross River, Ogun and Plateau.
The NESP aims to improve the conditions for investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and rural electrification. Policy advice to improve relevant institutional and policy framework conditions is provided on the federal level. Five selected states will also be supported on measures for electrification of rural and peri-urban areas through the usage of renewable energy, particularly small-scale hydropower and solar plants. The aim is to draw attention to socially acceptable and eco-friendly as well astechnically and economically viable solutions, in order to support their replication throughout the country. This is being complemented by comprehensive training measures for