President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria needs $400 billion on an ambitious energy plan to reduce energy shortcomings by 2030 the Federal Government is working on.

According to him, the scale of financing required for Nigeria to achieve net-zero amounts to over $400 billion across the Nigerian economy “in excess of business-as-usual spending” over the next 30 years.

“This breaks down to $155 billion net spend on generation capacity, $135 billion on transmission and distribution infrastructure, $75 billion on buildings, $21 billion on the industry, and $12 billion on transport,” stated Buhari.

The President, however, stated that gas would continue to have a big role to play before being phased out, explaining that solid fuel cooking is still wreaking havoc in Africa.

“As a global leader on the energy transition, it is imperative that I flag a major risk to development that stems from the current narrative around the energy transition, particularly on the role of gas and the lack of financing. Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan has laid out our roadmap to reach net-zero and highlights the scale of the effort required,” said the President.

“This is challenging for any country, especially a developing country. On our development objectives, gas will have a key role to play here for some years before being phased out.”

Buhari noted that the plans must also consider access to electricity and clean cooking solutions for those in Nigeria and around the world currently without access.

“Globally, there are 2.6 billion people who lack access to clean cooking – which is unacceptable. Even more concerning is that solid fuel cooking in Africa causes almost 490,000 premature deaths annually, making it the second-largest health risk in Africa,’’ the president added.

According to a statement by Femi Adesina, Buhari’s media aide, Nigeria’s commitment to a just transition “is reflected in our ambitious Energy Compact,” including the “government’s flagship project” to electrify five million households and 20 million people using decentralised solar energy solutions.

“This is a major first step towards closing our energy access deficit by 2030,” said Buhari. “Nigeria’s commitment is also reflected in the development of our Energy Transition Plan, which was developed with the support of the UK COP26 Energy Transition Council.”

The Nigerian leader called for support from developed countries to unlock the financing needed to accelerate a just energy transition for all.

“The focus of our discussions on transition must now evolve how we help countries develop detailed energy transition plans and commitments to mobilise enough financing to empower countries to implement those plans,” he said.

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