The Minister of Environment Hajiya Amina Mohammed has projected that the country can generate $7, 5 billion (about N15 trillion) from of grid solar energy.
This is even as the Coordinator of Nigerian-German Energy partnership, Dr. Jeremy Gaines, has lauded the Federal Government’s 13,000MW plans for electricity through solar energy over the next decades.
Speaking at the just held Conference of Parties on Climate Change, otherwise known as COP 21, in Paris, France, the minister said: “In particular, we plan to develop around 13,000 gigawatt of off-grid solar power, delivering energy access to the poorest communities in a cheaper and healthier manner with less emission.
We also plan to create a more efficient,lower carbon oil and gas sector. By ending gas flaring and using the gas for commercial purposes, including power generation, we could generate as much as $7.5bn worth of benefits.”
According to her, given the climate risks that Nigeria faces, this is the only way in which the government’s ambitious Agriculture Transformation Agenda can be delivered
“Nigeria’s ambitious INDCs aim at reducing emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2030 with support from the international community. This will support the restructuring of the economy in a way that will facilitate inclusive growth with vast opportunities to diversify the energy mix, with emphasis on renewable energy and efficient gas power,” she added. However, Dr. Gaines commended the government for the ambitious, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, INDCs, which have been set for Nigeria.
He further added that promoting renewable energy as a primary sustainable development strategy for socio-economic inclusion that is good for the global environment, but is even better for ordinary Nigerians, while at the same time simply making business sense, the so called triple bottom line.
“A massive roll-out of on and off-grid solar power is one of the areas that the Nigerian German Energy Partnership and Germany’s GIZ (through its Nigerian Energy Support Plan) has consistently advocated.
“Through GIZ the German government has been busy supporting Nigeria with getting all the homework done to enable a strong rise in off-grid solar PV systems.
The Paris climate summit has put longer-term financing mechanisms in place to assist here. Such a roll-out is especially meaningful if integrated with the deployment of agricultural facilities (irrigation pumps, etc.) as this could be a key to unlocking socio-economic growth in particular in the North of the country.
“It is probably too early to set concrete targets for the volume of off-grid solar until the various technical and financing challenges have been overcome. But the Minister’s determination to push the development of such systems shows the administration’s welcome resolve to embark down this path,” he added.
The managing director, Zaphnaah Nigeria Limited, Mr. Debo Adefolaju, added that, “It can be done, but a lot of things are attached to it.
“Is not just about clearing land and installations or putting the panels on a roof, it has to be attached to industries for it to be worthwhile.
“Meaning, either we are going to be using it for irrigation or we are going to set-up a plant to be manufacturing solar panels or batteries nearby, so that for the purpose of illustration, everything we are doing should be gear into employing our youth.
“Everything will have a value chain, either the installation; we have to train our boy and girls to install, to do the wiring, to maintain the system after it has been installed. As far as am concern it all about employment,” he stated.
He further said “Nigeria is blessed with everything. We get between 12 and 14 hours of sunlight, our business should be first in the six geopolitical zone to start manufacturing solar panels.” NIMASA is doing it in Nigeria, we also need to be producing battery in Country, we cannot afford to be importing everything.”
“We need to get people who will be willing to set factory. In Ghana, such factories exist, if we can bring those guys here to come and work with our boys and girls here, and start manufacturing solar panels, wire, and battery and have a quality in place to recycle battery when they run down and be able to adopt a culture of maintenance.”
China Urges U.N. States Not to Attend Xinjiang Event Next Week
China has urged United Nations member states not to attend an event planned next week by Germany, the United States and Britain on the repression of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang, according to a note seen by Reuters on Friday.
“It is a politically-motivated event,” China’s U.N. mission wrote in the note, dated Thursday. “We request your mission NOT to participate in this anti-China event.”
China charged that the organizers of the event, which also include several other European states along with Australia and Canada, use “human rights issues as a political tool to interfere in China’s internal affairs like Xinjiang, to create division and turbulence and disrupt China’s development.”
“They are obsessed with provoking confrontation with China,” the note said, adding that “the provocative event can only lead to more confrontation.”
The Chinese mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ambassadors of the United States, Germany and Britain are due to address the virtual U.N. event on Wednesday, along with Human Rights Watch Executive Director Ken Roth and Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard.
The aim of the event is to “discuss how the U.N. system, member states and civil society can support and advocate for the human rights of members of ethnic Turkic communities in Xinjiang,” according to an invitation.
Western states and rights groups have accused authorities in Xinjiang of detaining and torturing Uyghurs in camps, which the United States has described as genocide. In January, Washington banned the import of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang over allegations of forced labor.
Beijing denies the accusations and describes the camps as vocational training centers to combat religious extremism.
“Beijing has been trying for years to bully governments into silence but that strategy has failed miserably, as more and states step forward to voice horror and revulsion at China’s crimes against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims,” Human Rights Watch U.N. director Louis Charbonneau said on Friday.
Lawmakers Tensed Over Possible Boko Haram Attack On National Assembly
Lawmakers have been notified of a possible attack by Boko Haram insurgents on the National Assembly complex and other public buildings in Abuja, The media gathered.
Several members of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, confirmed to Punch correspondent that they had been notified of the imminent attack by the terrorist group.
One of them, who is from a state in the South-West, said his presence would henceforth be limited on the premises.
“That is the security alert I saw today. I’m already moving out of here. I’ll only be around when there is a major reason to do so. Nowhere is safe in the country anymore,” he said.
Already the notice of the impending attack has been made available to the lawmakers.
The notice, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, was sent to the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, other principal officers and all members of the House.
The ‘security alert’, dated May 4, 2021, was issued by the Chairman of the House Committee on Internal Security, National Assembly, Mr. Usman Shiddi.
It was titled ‘Re: planned insurgent attacks on VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja.’
The alert read, “I refer to the above subject of which a copy of the intelligence report from the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force in the National Assembly Complex has been made available to my office.
“The report indicates planned insurgent attacks by some elements of Boko Haram on some VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja, including the National Assembly complex.
“In view of the above intelligence, I have considered it paramount to advise that all members should, henceforth, use the presidential gate for ingress and egress.
“This is to avoid the unforeseen congestions that are sometimes encountered at the main gates since such congestions could easily be the targets for these insurgent elements.
“Security agencies are, however, actively on top of the issue to unravel and to contain the intended menace. Accept the assurances of my highest regards, please.”
Security has been beefed up in and around the complex since Thursday last week.
For the first time, security operatives on that day checked vehicles entering the premises, causing traffic congestion especially at the third (and last) gate, a process that has continued to date.
Before now, the security operatives were only after the identities of drivers and passengers to confirm that they were staff members, legislative aides, journalists, or persons working in private businesses in the complex.
The media correspondent observed that soldiers joined the regular sergeants-at-arms and men of the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps that manned the gates.
Recall that the Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello, had on April 26, 2021, raised the alarm over Boko Haram terrorists taking over a part of the state, hoisting their flag in Kaure village from where they had made incursions into more than 50 villages.
Bello said Abuja was not safe, with Boko Haram’s presence in Kaure – a two-hour journey from the Federal Capital Territory.
He said, “I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger State. Here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here.”
The same day, Gbajabiamila had met with the President, Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, in company with the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.
On the next day, the House held a long executive (closed-door) session to discuss the rising spate of insecurity across Nigeria, calling on Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security.
At the secret session that lasted over three hours, the lawmakers unanimously adopted a series of resolutions, one of which was that “the Federal Government should ensure the protection of national infrastructure and assets, particularly the Shiroro and Kainji Dams in Niger State.”
Lagos State Plans To Launch 500 Small New Buses Next Week
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to introduce 500 small new buses to the state by next week Thursday in a bid to provide alternatives to local motorcycles.
The Governor said this in a speech on Wednesday to mark the opening ceremony of the Lagos Architect Forum. The forum themed, ‘The City of Lagos: The Next Twenty Five Years’ was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos chapter, at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
The 4-day forum which will run till Saturday had in attendance other dignitaries including the Oniru of Iru Land, HRM Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal; the Lagos State Chairman of the NIA, Arc. David Majekodunmi; SA to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye; and the President-elect of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Arc. Enyi Ben-Eboh.
In his speech, the governor noted the progress made in the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda and his vision for the Lagos master plan to ensure that Lagos becomes ‘Africa’s model megacity’ by 2050. Acknowledging the challenges in the transport sector, the Governor gave assurances on improving the various modes of transport including the roads, waterways and rail lines.
“For the waterways, we’re currently building 16 jetties and terminals. About seven of them should be ready before the end of the year; we have some that are already currently being used.
“All of them will not look as nice as the one at Falomo, but we want all of them to be comfortable. We have a fleet of almost 20 boats now each carrying 50, 60, 40 passengers. We want people to use the waterways which is why we’re investing in them,” Sanwo-Olu said.
On road and rail transport, Sanwo-Olu said the state would soon begin to operate 100 new high-capacity buses, with plans to launch 500 LASTMA small buses by next week Wednesday or Thursday as alternatives to okadas that don’t have enough passenger space. He also promised that one of either the blue or red rail lines will become operational by next year.
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