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Planning critical to energy security, GDP growth, FG says

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The Federal government through the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) has said Nigeria may not meet projected energy needs as well as growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) unless proper planning is prioritised in the energy sector.

Speaking at an event in Abuja, on the promotion of energy planning tools in six geo-political zones (North Central), energy experts at the workshop raised concerns about the nation’s energy sector, insisting that the economy faces serious uncertainty as a result of poor planning.

They noted that using modern energy modelling tools for quality decisions on energy matters would spur growth and development in the country.

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The Director General of the commission, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala, said the country must learn from developed countries that have prioritised modern energy tools in planning the sector.

Represented by the agency’s Legal Director, Funmilayo Abiodun, Bala harped on urgent need for the three tiers of government to grow their economy and ensure adequate development through proper planning of energy needs.

He said: “States, local governments, the academia and indeed all stakeholders need to be involved in the national effort to enhance decision-making on energy matters in the country.”

The Acting Director, Energy Policy Planning and Analysis Department, ECN, Dr. Abdulwaheed Ahmed, who spoke at the event, also noted that the agency was determined to ensure proper planning across the country.

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He disclosed that the commission had been furthering the programme for over a decade across states in the nation’s six geo-political zones.

Deputy Director of the energy planning directorate, Ebituse Iwollo, said with the workshop, participants would be able to use modelling tools.

Some of the tools according to him included Model for Analysis of Energy Demand (MAED) and Model for Energy Supply Strategy Alternatives and their General Environmental Impacts (MESSAGE).

He said MAED deals with the demand side issues such as demand forecasting, while the MESSAGE has to do with the supply side of energy, for instance, to know when there is need for capacity expansion.

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