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Energy efficiency and renewables ‘critical instruments’ for growth in Nigeria

Nigeria’s outlook for economic growth remains positive, largely driven by the oil sector, but growth is “not inclusive and does not translate into poverty reduction and shared prosperity”, according to a report from the World Energy Council (WEC).

The WEC’s 2014 World Energy Issues Monitor said proposed oil and gas industry reforms, still to be ratified by Nigeria’s National Assembly, remain “a source of concern to industry key stakeholders and operators, with implications for investments”. 

WEC said the country’s power supply remains unstable and unreliable, with poor performance and a weak infrastructure, which is having a negative impact on business, social and economic development.

However, WEC said Nigeria’s cooperation with China, India and Brazil has been strengthened, and “has resulted in more opportunities for the energy sector”. The most important “need-for-action issues” in Nigeria include large-scale hydro, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, WEC added.

According to WEC: “With a huge potential of about 15 gigawatts (with less than 1.4% exploited thus far), large-scale hydropower is perceived as a clean renewable energy option that needs to be further developed to meet energy needs in a sustainable way. Energy efficiency and renewables are perceived as critical instruments for sustainable energy growth and have been on the agenda of the Nigerian energy sector for some years.”

Nigeria’s capital market is “another important challenge – and it is surprising that this matter is perceived with less urgency”, WEC added. Nigeria is a country in need of substantial financial resources and “there is an ongoing struggle to finance its poor energy infrastructure”.

WEC said: “Many critical uncertainties must be addressed in order for Nigeria to realise its ambitious ‘vision’ to be among the top 20 countries in the world by 2020... energy poverty, large-scale hydro, energy efficiency, energy-water nexus and talent are some of the most important issues to be addressed.”

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