Lagos Business School's Centre for Infrastructure, Policy, Regulation and Advancement (CIPRA) and Heinrich Böll Foundation organized a High-Level Forum to discuss Nigeria's Energy Future. The event took place at the Lagos Business School, on April 28, 2015 and brought together international and national energy experts including Hans Verolme- Senior Strategic Climate Adviser; Christine K- Director, Heinrich Böll Foundation; Batchi Baldeh- Senior Vice President Power, Africa Finance Corporation; Ayodele Oni- Lawyer and Energy Expert, Banwo & Ighodalo; and Hannah Kabir-CEO, Creeds Energy among others.
At the forum, Dr. Ijeoma Nwagwu of CIPRA, Lagos Business School said that detailed concepts and policies for the required massive increase in electricity supplies have hardly been discussed in public in Nigeria, even during the recent election campaigns, and “this time of transition is the perfect opportunity for renewed, hopeful and strategic focus on energy poverty in Nigeria.” According to Dr. Nwagwu, “If it is to make gains on its commitment to create jobs, address insecurity and corruption in Nigeria, the new government must deal with the reality that 80% of Nigerians lack stable power supply and 2/3rds of Africans, mainly in the rural areas, live without electricity.”
Christine K, Nigeria Director of the Heinrich Boll Foundation said, “Most Nigerian experts favor an expansion of the national grid, fed by power from fossil fuels such as oil and gas. Given that the infrastructural choices taken today will lock Nigeria onto a certain energy pathway for the next 30 to 50 years, a wider discussion of the implications of these infrastructural choices is necessary,” today, given the context of global warming from CO2 emissions and a changing global energy and energy investment landscape.
In his presentation, the keynote speaker Hans Verolme emphasized the role of energy as the backbone of Nigeria’s economic, social, environmental development. He further discussed Nigeria’s energy future in a global context of CO2 emission reductions and the country’s energy options (solar, hydro, etc.) A panel of energy experts (Oni, Baldeh, Verolme & Kabir) then engaged the audience and identified hydro and gas as having the highest potential to ensure clean, reliable and affordable energy for Nigeria. They agreed that for Nigeria to have a functional energy mix, collaboration is required from key policy and decision makers in the public and private sectors.
The written outcomes of the forum will be distributed as policy briefs and adapted for public engagement and advocacy.