By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo has expressed Federal Government’s determination to exterminate darkness out of Africa through sub-regional collaborations that would ensure a robust transmission network supergrid, running across every country in Africa.
This he said will bring about cooperation from countries in the region, drawing on their areas of strengths for the collective good of the entire continent.
A statement by the Asst. Director, Press, Ministry of Power, Patricia Deworitshe said Nebo spoke yesterday when the Under Secretary General and Special Rep of the UN Secretary-General, Dr. Kande Yumkella paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
He stated that the African Energy Leaders Group championed by the latter was a welcome development as it is targeted at the transformation and upliftment of the region.
He further stressed the need for the group to give renewable energy a boost to ensure that communities that are far flung from the national grid are adequately powered with electricity so as to promote the citing of small scale industries in such African communities.
The Minister further empathized with the students disqualified by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) over deficiencies in ICT, adding that such a development would not have occurred, had adequate electricity been provided for rural dwellers to expose such students to computers and Information technology.
While stressing that “our common destiny is being threatened by lack of access to power”, he added, that with the growing population, the need for reinforcement of forces can never be overemphasized as it will avert the looming threat in the future without energy.
Earlier, Dr. Yumkella said he had come to intimate the country on the need for the African Leaders Energy Group, an initiative borne out of the vacuum observed from the Millennium Development Goals, which focused more on social development, without energy – a key factor in the sustainability of the programme. The Group, he said, aims at providing universal access to energy by 2030, improve energy efficiency and double the share of renewable energy mix in the global reach.
According to him, Nigeria which is a case study for other African countries to emulate, because of the success of its power sector privatization exercise will head the West Africa sub-region of the Group.
He further said that consultations were ongoing with financial conglomerates such as Bank of America, Brazil and other stakeholders to produce some of the instruments that would facilitate the provision of regular power to Africa.