The Federal Government and European Union have sealed a funding agreement of N6bn to improve access to modern and sustainable energy sources in Nigeria. The Supervising Minister of National Planning, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michel Arrion, signed for the union.
The fund, to be utilized through the stimulating access to Sustainable Energy Programme, will also sustain the reforestation programme in the country. He said the programme would also support the design of state electrification plans, capacity development of selected institutions and development of strategies to enhance access to energy.
The minister said while the Federal Government had set the tone by privatising the power sector and creating a proficient electricity market, the EU would be complementing that effort through its renewable energy programme. He added that the energy reforestation programme is conceived to support the transformation agenda of the present administration, especially the main priority of the improvement of access to efficient and reliable energy.
While the Nigerian government has set the tone of its dedication by privatising electricity assets and engaging in reforms majored at creating a proficient market, the EU is complementing that effort with renewable energy, vocational training for the power sector and advice on energy governance.
Also speaking, Arrion said the programme was borne out of the need to help a large part of the Nigerian population, who had no access to energy, but relied on non-sustainable fuels such as firewood, charcoal and diesel. These materials, he said, has rigorous consequences on their health, livelihood and the environment.