To bridge electricity gap in the country, experts have again harped on the need for government and finance institutions to increase the provision of credit facilities for the development of alternative energy sources.
The National President, Council for Renewable Energy Nigeria (CREN), Dr Sunny Akpoyibo, made the call at the inauguration of the newly elected members of the Council’s Executive Management Committee, yesterday, in Abuja.
Akpoyibo noted that developed countries usually provided Green Energy Finance, wherein operators have access to solar power generating systems and pay within 10-20 years, saying with such financing in place, renewable energy becomes cheaper given the long term repayment period.
He said the Council has been speaking with commercial banks to encourage renewable finance, adding that they will also educate practitioners on how to access funding for renewable energy, to make it cheaper and affordable for prospective investors.
He further said CREN is engaged in advocacy to boost knowledge of renewable energy, and to attract more investors into the sector, adding the Council is investing in training of Nigerians in the six geopolitical zones, and will also partner with associations, NGOs, development partners among others, to provide more job opportunities for Nigerians.
Akpoyibo disclosed of plans to train 50 Niger Delta youths especially women, to build their capacity on renewable energy given their vulnerability to climate change in the region.He said: “In creating green jobs, capacity is key, which was why 50 young ladies were offered the opportunity. And training for the first 25 would take place next week.”
On the plan by CREN to train returnees from South Africa, he said they have written a letter to the Commission on Diaspora and the House Committee on Diaspora, to provide them with authentic information of the returnees, and as soon as they get the data the training would commence.
Also, the Council Vice President, Imamudeen Talaba, stressed that for Nigeria to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 7 on climate change, there was a need to work on the implementation of renewable energy efficiency policy put in place since 2015.
He noted that the policy provided a clause for the funding of renewable energy in the country that would allow Nigerians and investors access funding at single digit interest rate, adding that the policy also made provision of special fund for the sector, to easily develop renewable projects in Nigeria.