The Nigeria National Committee aims to promote sustainable energy development in Nigeria, as a part of the World Energy Council’s energy vision. As a member of the World Energy Council network, the organisation is committed to representing the Nigerian perspective within national, regional and global energy debates. The committee includes a variety of members to ensure that the diverse energy interests of Nigeria are appropriately represented. Members of the committee are invited to attend high-level events, participate in energy-focused study groups, contribute to technical research and be a part of the global energy dialogue.
Energy in Nigeria
With a population of over 190 million and projected to reach over 350 million by 2050, energy is a crucial issue in Nigeria. According to the World Bank, 59.3% of Nigerian households have access to electricity. With the national population set to increase in the coming years, Nigeria needs to increase its electricity output by tenfold. Providing quality access to energy (including electricity) is a major concern and a method of tackling this is diversifying the energy market through renewables. Over the past year, Nigeria has invested more than $20 billion in solar power projects.
Corruption and the threat of terrorism hinder the effectiveness of the nation’s energy infrastructure as well as international investment opportunities. New legal frameworks which promote financial openness and scrutiny are a potential means of tackling corruption. Terrorism is harder to resolve as the motives of different groups vary.
The United States’ foreign policy is a major concern as they are one of Nigeria largest importers. If the US continues a path of isolation and high tariffs, Nigeria’s economy could suffer.
Climate change and the process of mitigating and adapting to its effects is a major priority for Nigeria, as it is vulnerable to droughts and floods. Additional work is needed to make the energy infrastructure and the nation more resilient.
Trade Barriers: The rate at which the naira has fallen against the dollar is of a great concern to energy leaders, although foreign reserves have been appreciating constantly after the recession.
US Trade & Policy: With the US being the largest buyer of Nigerian crude oil, stopping its importation has brought about uncertainties to energy leaders in Nigeria. With the US increasing tariffs on imports, oil exports might not be as profitable.
The Global Climate framework is another critical uncertainty that keeps energy leaders busy at work in Nigeria. The northern part of Nigeria is affected by desertification, partly driven by increasing rates of deforestation. At the same time other parts of the country have been affected by flooding, which highlights the vulnerability of the country to changes in weather patterns.
Corruption is still a major uncertainty to energy leaders in Nigeria. Efforts have been made by the government to minimise corruption through the enactment of laws and the enforcement of integrity systems. In addition, several high-powered individuals are currently being prosecuted by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is expected that the issue will consequently lose importance and become an increasingly weak signal in the coming years.
Over the past year, terrorism has developed to be an action priority with a high impact on the country. The main drivers behind the impact of terrorism are the activities of the Boko Haram militants, which have staged several attacks in the northern part of the country, and also the Niger Delta militants. Terrorism impacts the energy sector directly as, for example, attacks have targeted petroleum pipelines in the oil rich Niger Delta region of the country.
Renewable energy is an action priority for the country as it is seen as a solution to tackle the power crisis in a sustainable manner. The country has huge renewable energy potential with solar PV topping the list with an estimated potential of 325 TWh if merely 1% of the available land is utilised. To put this into perspective - the current total electricity generation amounts to 5,000 MW with an electrification rate of 59.3% in 2017. The government has already introduced measures to further promote the deployment of renewable energy sources. The Electricity Regulatory Commission of Nigeria has, for instance, introduced feed-in-tariffs in 2012 to promote the renewable energy deployment (small / large scale hydro, wind, solar and biomass), with the largest tariffs being allocated to solar projects.
Energy Efficiency is an issue that has a particular importance in Nigeria. The country does not produce enough electricity for its growing population. To tackle this, it is vigorously pursuing efficiency measures in all sectors of the economy, focusing mostly on buildings, industry and transport. In collaboration with international partners such as UNDP, and GiZ, the Nigerian Government have come up with strategies in achieving improved energy efficiency.
Energy leaders in Nigeria expect that with the adequate policies and business strategies, the critical uncertainties affecting Nigeria will gradually lose importance and become weak signals in the coming years. It is also anticipated that the priority areas of terrorism, corruption and renewable energy will receive the necessary attention from energy leaders and tackling these issues will contribute to building a more resilient energy system.