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Stakeholders decry capacity gaps in clean energy sector

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
03 November 2021   |   3:25 am
Stakeholders in the electricity sector, yesterday, in Abuja, decried the capacity gaps in the clean energy segment of the sector as the Council for the Regulation for Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the Nigerian Energy Support Programme...

Stakeholders in the electricity sector, yesterday, in Abuja, decried the capacity gaps in the clean energy segment of the sector as the Council for the Regulation for Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) unveiled the National Clean Energy Skills Certification.

With a majority of Nigerians lacking access to electricity, the existing capacity gaps in the clean energy sector meant that projected objectives of addressing electricity challenges with clean sources might remain a mirage.

Currently, Nigeria is targeting to expand energy access to 90 per cent of the population by 2030 and 30 per cent of the total generation is expected to come from renewable sources.

While stakeholders at the event, including the ministries of Power, Work and Housing and that of Environment saw the move as the right step in addressing extant challenges, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) noted that the move would reduce the high cost of electricity in the country.

The National Clean Energy Skills Certification, which was introduced under the first phase of NESP in 2017, aims to provide young Nigerian professionals with the necessary skills for a career in the clean energy sector.

President of Council at COREN, Ali Rabiu, had noted that the insufficient generated power in the country to support households and local businesses, raised concerns, which necessitated the certification plan.

He said the rapid investments in infrastructure developments, particularly cost-effective investments in power and urban road transportation and data-driven technologies has led to the demand for new engineering skills.

Rabiu noted therefore that the need for skills certification, which would play a pivotal role in shoring up market confidence and enhancing employability remained sacrosanct.

The Registrar of COREN, Prof. Joseph Odigure, had earlier noted that the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector is growing rapidly and COREN remained committed to supporting the certification scheme to evolve to a world-class standard.

Head of Section, Green and Digital Economy at the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Inga Stefanowicz, noted that the provision of skills development opportunities to young Nigerian professionals remained critical for their employability or entrepreneurship potential, ultimately contributing to the growth and diversification of the economy.

Stefanowicz said the European Union would be committed to supporting the Federal Government in developing the potential in the clean energy sector.

Country Director of GIZ Nigeria & ECOWAS, Ina Hommers, assured that “the collaboration between NESP and COREN is a welcome development in the industry with the strategic objective of enhancing the skills of the current and aspiring young Nigerian professionals in the clean energy sector.