Tennis Grand Slam

As Nigeria pushes forward with an energy transition that is encouraging significant investments in renewable energies, environmentalists and key stakeholders have warned of environmental drawbacks.

The concerns are as a result of the absence of infrastructure in tackling environmental challenges and fostering sustainability around the renewable energy space.

A number of experts who spoke on the issue during an inquest by our Correspondent highlighted certain instruments which compels and determines that efficient waste management infrastructure is indispensable for combating pollution and advancing sustainable practices.

Already, the federal government has secured a $750 million loan from the World Bank to provide subsidies to developers and operators of solar mini-grids in the country.

The minister of Finance, Wale Edun, and World Bank’s Country director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, signed the loan agreement on March 31 and February 19 respectively.

The loan, according to a document, is aimed at augmenting the supply of electricity to both households and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through a surge in private sector-led distributed renewable energy initiatives.

It read: “The loan will be partly used to provide support to the development and operation of privately owned and operated solar hybrid mini grids in unserved and underserved areas through: Minimum Subsidy Tender Carrying out of Minimum Subsidy Tender processes and provision of Minimum Capital Cost Subsidies to selected developers/operators of Isolated mini- grids;  Interconnected mini-grids; or Solar rooftop solutions in participating states.”

Aside from providing the subsidy, the federal government plans to also provide performance-based grants.

In a shared note with LEADERSHIP, a seasoned expert in environmental sustainability, Okiemute Edokpolo, spotlighted the imperative of investing in robust infrastructure for efficient waste management across Nigeria’s industries.

Edokpolo stressed the important role of such infrastructure in tackling environmental challenges and fostering sustainability, adding that, “Efficient waste management infrastructure is indispensable for combating pollution and advancing sustainable practices.”

In a country marked by rapid industrialisation and urban expansion, the need for such investment is particularly acute, given the escalating volumes of waste and the resultant environmental degradation. Edokpolo also highlighted the economic dividends of such investment, noting that well-designed waste management systems can spur economic growth and job creation.

“Beyond safeguarding our environment, strategic investments in waste management infrastructure can catalyse economic prosperity,” she emphasised.

Edokpolo called for proactive government intervention, urging the implementation of policies and incentives to incentivise private sector participation in sustainable waste management endeavours. Government support is pivotal in galvanising private sector engagement in this critical area, she affirmed.

She championed the importance of fostering public-private partnerships as a means of pooling resources and expertise to bolster waste management infrastructure.

“Collaborative efforts between government entities, businesses, and civil society are indispensable for mobilising the necessary resources and know-how to develop and maintain efficient waste management infrastructure,” she highlighted.

Her unwavering commitment to advancing sustainable waste management practices reflects her dedication to environmental sustainability and innovation within Nigeria’s industrial landscape. Through her expertise and advocacy, she continues to spearhead transformative change, paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future for Nigeria and beyond.

Also, sharing his thoughts, the group executive editor, ITREALMS Media group, the organisers of the annual ITREALMS E-Waste Dialogue, Sir Remmy Nweke said, from indications, Nigeria is not prepared for effective disposal of such harmful products from the renewable energy sources because waste management has to been properly outlined and implemented. 

Nweke said,  regulatory framework only resides in papers but actual implementation is another kettle of fish and needs to be scaled down to practical implementation to the benefit of end users. Though he agreed the manpower to address the anticipated surge is available but need to innovate with modern ways of doing waste management

President Women In Renewable Energy Association (WIRE), Anita Nana Okuribido: shared insights into what the association is looking at achieving to help Nigeria achieve her aim in the energy transition initiative. Okoribido said, with the objective of attracting both domestic and foreign investments, the Electricity Act presents attractive investment opportunities within Nigeria’s power sector.

Okoribido thus stressed that, as energy experts, greenpreneurs and researchers in the green space, women with applied scientific interest particularly  Women in Renewable Energy Association which she is the founder and CEO can find tremendous opportunities for professional growth in the green energy sector. 

She stated that, rooted in their communities, WIRE-A Members in the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria can also play a vital role as green ambassadors,  Leaders and  Consumers in building confidence in the use of clean energy technologies such as Clean cook stoves, SHS and other green devices for Agricultural Development to enhance energy and food security.

She believes that the Act marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s power sector reform journey adding that, with its comprehensive reforms, the Act sets the stage for a brighter and more sustainable future. 

“It addresses the challenges of inadequate infrastructure, inefficient frameworks, and limited private sector participation, paving the way for improved electricity provision to millions of Nigerians.

“As the Act comes into effect, it is crucial for stakeholders, investors, and industry players to familiarise themselves with its provisions, engage with regulatory bodies, and seize the opportunities it presents. 

“Collaboration between the public and private sectors will be vital in driving the successful implementation of the Act and realising its vision for a more efficient, reliable, and sustainable power sector,” added Okoribido.