The aspiration of growing the economy at a double-digit rate may remain a mirage unless electricity output increases to 300, 000WM, experts said in Abuja, yesterday.
Although a different policy document had attempted to boost electricity output in the country, the generation still hovers around 5,000MW despite huge energy convertible natural resources.
The experts, including the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, that of Environment, Muhammad Mahmood, and the Director-General of Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Prof. Eli Bala, who gathered at a stakeholders engagement on Nigeria Energy Calculator 2050, also raised concern over the country’s energy outlook.
Calling for policies that would ensure a strong energy mix, Onu said that the need to efficiently and effectively utilise the nation’s huge energy resources for rapid industrialisation and tackle poverty as well as unemployment remained sacrosanct.
“I am optimistic that our dear nation will pursue the right combination of different sources of energy, including renewable, fossil fuels as well as nuclear energy,” Onu said.
According to him, nuclear technology, projected to be useful in medicine, agriculture, education, manufacturing, can significantly help economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction and overall national development.
Mahmood noted the need to reduce greenhouse gases in the country as the country tries to improve its energy outlook, adding that the ministry would provide the necessary support for the actualisation of the plan.
Bala stated the country could only become one of the 20 most developed countries in the country if GDP growth is driven by an adequate energy supply.
“We had projected for instance, from the electricity supply side that our demand will be nothing less than 100 megawatts by 2030 based on our population growth rates, level of industrialisation and transportation.
“Some policy statements wanted us to grow by double-digit, but to grow by double-digit will need nothing less than 300,000 megawatts,” he said.
According to him, the supply mix must be broadened to include all sources of energy, including gas as well as import from other countries.
Bala noted that while pushing for energy sufficiency, it was necessary for the country to also consider the impacts of global warming, stressing that the nation cannot live in isolation.