An Energy conference has called on the Nigerian government to prioritize national and community energy needs over global economic models that promote inequalities.
The one-day conference organised by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the earth ERA/FoEN Nigeria and funded by Friends of the Earth Norway, called for a reform of the renewable energy policy and proposal for a renewable energy policy bill.
The conference, the sixth in the series, told government to promote decentralized alternative energy with a focus on renewables which must be affordable and environment- friendly.
The conference demanded that “Clean and safe community alternative energy models be vigorously pursued to deliver on community energy needs that are off-grid and mini-grids.”
It said that the Nigerian government should match words with action by allocating a reasonable per cent of its annual income to funding for research and development of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass, among others.
The renewable energy conference demanded for the establishment of appropriate institutional infrastructure and frameworks to support expanding energy supply and access and their sustainability.
It stressed the need for the harmonisation and integration of sustainable energy policies in development at all levels and development of a renewable energy model that is back by an Act of Parliament as well as zero tariffs on renewable energy products to allow greater energy access.
“Government should divest funding, loans and subsidies from fossil fuel development and oil prospecting and instead invest in renewable sources of energy.” it said.
The conference brought together civil society, development groups, government officials and community-based groups who shared experiences and analyzed critically issues concerning energy policy in Nigeria, the environmental and social impacts of extractive processes.
It brought to the fore, serious issues on the growing energy deficit in Nigeria and renewed aggressive extraction of natural resources including oil and gas from Nigeria and other parts of Africa to meet increasing demand in North America, Europe and other countries like Russia, Brazil, India and China.processes
It also proffered solutions and energy models to address energy deficit and addressed peoples’ right to a new energy model in Nigeria.