By Musa Adamu
An environmental civil society group, Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has kickstarted the process of sponsoring a Bill on Renewable Energy (RE).
It said the Bill being a private one would be sponsored on the floor of the Senate by Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Chairman, Senate Committee on Climate Change and Ecology.
The group kickstarted the process by launching a manifesto on Just Energy Transition for Nigeria in Abuja.
Explaining the aim of the move, Executive Director, ERA/FoEN, Dr Godwin Ojo, said it was aimed at providing legislative backing by an Act of the the National Assembly for improved RE access to all.
He further said the process was aimed at democratising energy access and sources in the country as well as transiting from fossils to RE sources.
He called on the government to put in place an RE policy framework backed by an Act of the parliament which recognises state and non state actors roles and responsibility in RE development.
He further called for divestment from fossil fuels such as public finance, loans and subsidies and invest in RE development to prioritize efforts and financing.
According to him, government should set target for national energy access and decentralized RE and task the federal, state and LG with responsibility and annual budgetary allocations.
He also asked government to provide zero percent tariffs and Value Added Tax (VAT) on a full range of decentralized RE products and components.
In his response, Sen Ibrahim, who described RE as a very important chapter to Nigeria quest for greatness, said he was ready to get involved and ensure the success of the process.
He further described the Just Energy Transition “as a must” which the country can not run away form.
He said the Senate would ensure the actualisation of the Bill so that the country would do better in the area of RE.
He said he was prepared and committed to push the Bill to its logical conclusion, further pledging that “this Bill will not go the way of others before it” which did not see the light of day.