The Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Her Excellency, Ms. Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury today held discussions with the Minister of State, Power, Hon. Mohammed Wakil, with a view to ascertaining areas of possible collaboration between her country and the Government in the area of power supply.
The Ambassador, who expressed satisfaction with the on-going transformation in the sector, disclosed that she is ready to woo big time conglomerates from Finland, as they would soon come and join in the present administration’s goal of more access to power for both the rural and urban dwellers.
She observed that, the prevailing security challenges being faced in the North East could adversely affect the investors’ confidence as well as their willingness to come and invest in Nigeria.
While drawing analogy against the recent dogged fight against the Ebola scourge, the Envoy encouraged Nigerians to use the same zeal in the fight against pipeline vandalism which has become a menace hence the inability of the country to push-up power generation. Using the popular axiom, “where there is a way, there is a will”, she urged Nigerians to tackle her problems frontally rather than blaming others.
On capacity building efforts, the Envoy assured that Finnish Corporations which are desirous of coming over to Nigeria could do so with their whole package – citing of the company at the appropriate locations, ensuring it’s proper operation and more importantly, guided by the provisions of the local content law in the choice of its Nigerian workers.
Responding to the Envoy’s presentation, the Minister of State, Power, Hon. Wakil said that Nigeria’s interest in the development of renewablwe energy is informed by the dire need of President Jonathan’s administration to address the lingering problem of energy mix. He said, now more than ever before, Nigeria is desirous of a robust energy mix as the country is not prepared to put all its eggs in one basket, by relying solely on one or two energy sources.
He observed that Nigeria is blessed with abundant resources in the renewables – small and medium hydros, biomass, solar and wind. It is hoped that the Nigerian government will fast track the development of renewable energy sources by ensuring that these sources serve 70 percent of Nigerians residing in the rural areas that are far flung away from the national grid, and may not be connected soon because of insufficient resources.
To this end, he said, the target of the Nigerian government is to provide 30% of our electricity needs from renewables according to the vision 20-20-20 target, adding that government is considering a digital approach through the use of censors and camera detectors, adding that the plan of government to accelerate power output has been scuttled by persistent acts of vandalism.
Hon. Wakil assured the would-be investors from Finland that renewable energy is the way to go as it would be embraced by all in meeting the nation’s energy needs.
He showed excitement on the capacity building package the envoy spoke about earlier and observed that such efforts will help to bridge the skill-gap that still exists in the power sector.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR (Press)