#KnowYourNDCs: Energy State In Nigeria Through the NDC Lens — By @deleism
NDCs are targets that party-states to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) pledged at the Paris Agreement in 2015 to contribute towards the global goal of limiting carbon emissions to between 1.5oc and 2oc above the pre-industrial levels.
It is difficult to answer in the affirmative. In the first place, the methodology and source of data that were used to develop Nigeria’s NDCs remain unclear. In developing the document, it is not clear the level of engagement and consultation with stakeholders, research communities, and subnational units (states and LGAs) that was done. For me, I do have a strong conviction that Nigeria’s NDCs are unreliable.
Secondly, Nigeria’s power sector is a bundle of contradictions and as a result, the countries energy ranking is a disaster. Hence, linkages between it and the NDCs are almost non-existent. Historically, Nigeria uses the grid system which precluded subnational and private investment in the sector for several decades. This produced poor socio-economic outcomes for the citizens as their energy requirement could not be met. Subsequent unbundling and privatization of the sector were shoddily done and the outcomes have not improved for citizens. Presently there is a massive difference btw the total installed capacity of Nigeria electricity and the actual generation and distribution arising from poor investment in electricity infrastructure. The adaptation and mitigation targets while beautiful on paper, remain difficult to achieve.
The power sector crisis in Nigeria has stunted Nigeria’s economic growth in no small proportions. The country’s energy consumption of 125kWh per capita is one of the lowest in the world. This occurs, as I said in the previous question, that Nigeria’s actual generation capacity has never surpassed the 5000 MW mark due to factors I listed. According to the International Energy Agency in 2015, about 96 million Nigerians had no access to electricity. The implication of this is that Nigeria’s power sector is incapable of powering the country to development. This reinforces poverty as job creation is hard to come by and productivity is impeded. Small and Medium Scale Entreprises is are currently ailing as the cost of production is unbearable. For many decades, companies, foreign and local have been shut, with many of them relocating to neighbouring African countries where power is guaranteed thus lowering the cost of production and upping their bottom line. In recent research, it was argued that Nigeria’s power deficit is one of the causes of de-industrialization and reduction in foreign direct investment (FDI) with many industrial clusters in the country now turned to worship and event centres. This leads to massive job loss and contributes to issues such as youth restiveness, family instability, insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery, among other social vices. As it stands, Nigeria’s power sector since 1999 is an abject failure as far as contribution to development is concerned.
‘Just Transition’ in energy terms means moving from fossil fuel-fired energy to renewable energy in a matter that ensures the inclusion of all stakeholders, ensures equity and reduce the negative impacts of such a transition to a bearable level. To answer the question, I believe Nigeria national power structure seeks a Just Transition but is shackled by issues that need to be resolved for this to come to fruition due to lack of means to funding, political will, fairness and equity in the process of transition etc. The unbundling and privatization of the power sector hasn’t brought gains to the people. The politicization of the privatization of the power sector, where party affiliates, friends and family members who possess no or zero skills/knowledge in power generation and distribution were the ones awarded the ownership right of the country’s power.
Currently, Nigerians pay for darkness because the power sector supply chain has failed to live up to its billing. Just transition with Nigeria’s national power structure is difficult to achieve. While there are policy attempts to increase the contribution of renewable energy to the country’s energy mix, the ‘Business as Usual’ reality persists. This is because just transition requires a significant increase in funding and this has been hard to accomplish in the country. Political will upon which just transition rests is also lacking. The current structure is incapable of aiding climate change mitigation through the transition to renewable energy.
Transition to clean energy is the core of Nigeria’s mitigation targets. To achieve clean energy by 2030, Nigeria promises to reduce emissions by 65%, 20% unconditional and 45% conditional. It also promises to end gas flaring by 30%, introduce off-grip solar PV to generate 13 MW of electricity, come up with efficient gas generators and achieve a 30% increase in energy efficiency by 2030 at 2% per annum. While there is nothing on ground to show that Nigeria will achieve these lofty targets towards clean energy, they can trigger economic development in the country. For example, with 13 MW of electricity added to the country’s energy mix, SMEs can have a new lease of life and beyond paper works, Nigerians would be able to experience real ease of doing business. With this, the creativity of Nigerian youths would be unleashed with possibly becoming the next production hub after China. This would be coupled with a drastic reduction in the cost of production thereby boosting the morale of entrepreneurs with higher profit margins. Reduction of emissions by 65%, all things being equal will enhance the possibility of clean air and boost the health of citizens.
This will entail a change in the structure of the Nigerian economy. The world is gradually moving away from fossil fuel as researches are ongoing on renewable energy. When this is achieved, Nigeria’s oil-based economy would be hurt. Hence, Nigeria herself needs to start looking away from oil by building a productive economy based on clean technology. Nigeria must also invest in the knowledge economy. Reliance on oil is risky considering the impact of the COVID 19 on global oil price, hence, the need for our leaders be more creative, in re-investing oil proceeds into technological advancement so that the country can be at par with other transition economies around the world.
Nigeria has made some progress in the area of enabling legislation for the reduction of emissions such as the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Gas Flaring Prohibition and Punishment Bill. Whether these legislations and emanating policies will be implemented remains to be seen because Nigeria is a graveyard of policies. In transportation and agriculture, virtually no progress has been recorded in the NDCs. Efforts are also being made on climate finance to drive the NDCs according to UNDP NDC Support Programme. In energy, efforts are being made to improve Nigeria’s energy governance but this is enmeshed in controversies as the structure of privatization of the power sector has proven to be a travesty. Tracking NDCs in Nigeria follows the trajectory of a lack of data arising from secrecy in governance. Hence, tracking mechanisms for the NDCs is difficult to decipher.
It is a good thing that the NDCs is being revised.
The NDCs is supposed to a product of cutting-edge research. With sound methodology and viable sources of data, the revised NDCs should be actionable. Hence, there should be more interface between policy and research during the review process.
The roles of subnational governments were unclear in the NDCs, for the revision, they should be carried along. This would aid just transition as peculiarities of each unit should be taken into consideration.
Government interface with CSOs is weak, this should be improved.
The NDCs has no cost implication. Ghana, for example, knows how much they need for adaptation and mitigation, in local and foreign financial terms.
The revised NDCs should be costed and attention should be given to local finance given the difficulty in leveraging international finance.
This is a tweet-chat series on #ClimateWednesday — #KnowYourNDC