Nigeria to expand reliance on renewable energy

Timothy Choji, Abuja

The Federal Government has set a target to expand reliance on renewable energy to 50 percent of its power output by 2020.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo revealed this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja while receiving a delegation led by the Indian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Nagabhushana Reddy.

Professor Osinbajo explained that “we are doing some expandable work in solar energy adding about 1000MW of solar. We are looking at 50% reliance on renewable energy sources by 2020.”

Solar Option

He noted that the Buhari Presidency is determined to improve access to electricity, adding that solar is one of the options being actively considered by government.

Welcoming the High Commissioner, who recently resumed in Nigeria, Vice President Osinbajo said he has resumed work in Nigeria at a time of incredible opportunity.

Professor Osinbajo expressed delight at the $100 million credit facility from India, which will be injected into the Nigerian economy, especially in the power sector, as he called for more active engagement between both countries.

The Vice President added that opportunities exist in agriculture and technology for Nigeria and India to cooperate, adding that diplomatic and economic relationship between both countries have been extremely good.

Robust Relationship

Speaking to Journalists, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Nagabhushana Reddy said his country would help actualise some of the developmental plans that President Muhammadu Buhari has for Nigeria.

Mr Reddy said the Green Alternative agricultural reform programme recently launched by the Nigerian government would be given the needed support.

He added that India would also help increase the use of solar energy in all parts of Nigeria, because his country has assisted a lot of countries in that regard.

“We will be working on some of the major initiatives that the government of Nigeria has embarked upon, like the Green Alternative, which was launched recently and also we have an international solar lens, which we would use to ensure the expansion of solar energy in different parts of Nigeria,” he pledged.

He told newsmen that his country has enjoyed a robust relationship with Nigeria and both countries would continue to build on the mutual relations.

“We had an opportunity today to touch on some of the key areas in which Nigeria and India would like to work together. We have a very robust relationship but we still have a lot to do,” Mr Reddy noted.

Mr Reddy announced that a high powered delegation would be visiting Nigeria in September, as a follow up to President Buhari’s four-day official visit to India, last year.

Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa and the Volume of bilateral trade between the two countries currently stands at about $17 billion, with high expectations of a significant increase in the next few months.