Ado Hassan, Sokoto
For Nigeria to attain positive economic growth for national development, it must accelerate mechanisms that would ensure sufficient energy production and utilisation by decentralising the system and process, according to Dr. Habib Nuhu , a Geologist and Public Sector Energy policy specialist.
According to Nuhu who noted that energy formed 50% of the critical element that impact in determining national and human development” public policy must emphasise beneficial access to energy for economic growth.”
Dr Nuhu made the observation as a Keynote Speaker at the 2nd National Colloquium ‘towards deepening Nigeria’s development’ held on Saturday at the Giginya Hotel, Sokoto.
However, Engineer Zayyanu Tambari Yabo is the convener of the Colloquium with theme: ” The Role of Energy in National Development”
According to him, energy remain an important driving force for national development, hence the urgent need to embrace renewable energy as a more reliable alternative source to guarantee sufficiency and accessibility to users.
He noted that Nigeria’s high dependency on hydrocarbon resources to drive development was not healthy for its much needed economic development.
” We need renewable alternative I’ve source to complement our demand for energy . Our current frame work has not yet evolve up to 10% despite our favourable position production wise”, he pointed .
He stressed that the country needs to decentralise the system to further avoid unnecessary situational failures in the chain of transmission to consumption while regretting that” our energy consumption pattern is largely domestic without maximising usage for productive purposes to drive the economy.
” Our energy frame work lacks the instruments of decentralised policy which affects our progress as a result of failures and the implications at counter productive to our development index.
” Nigeria must redesign an energy frame work that will recognise R&D, legal support frame work, as well take into account the population and environment to fast track national change through energy resources”, he pointed out.
Dr Nuhu cited an example with China which turned around its fortunes using it’s population advantage to become what it is today” they use their population for prosperity while our as poverty ridden.”
” We have four refineries yet, operating at gross loss in the last four to five years despite our crude production capacity.”
However, the Keynote Speaker while noting that Nigeria’s was faced with enormous threats and challenges on energy, identified lack of transparency and good governance as largely responsible for the sorry star of affairs in the energy sector.
” We must take interest in public governance to ensure accountability and collective participation to ensure leaders ate doing the right thing.
” Regions with comparative advantage on energy resources should be allowed to drive the course. Government has no hand in business oriented venture. It can be solely responsible for policy formulation that will support the drive for national development. It is regrettable that Nigerians believe that it is only the leader that change things forgetting that development of all kinds are driven by collective interest and participation”, he urged.
Earlier, Chairman of the event, Mr Osten Olorunsola represented by Professor Emeritus, Omowumi Iledare said no economy can grow enviable position without recourse to energy as a necessary tool.
According to Omowumi” there is an inter twin correlation between Energy Consumption Per Capita and GDPPC indices.
” Energy propels the economy and therefore we must develop a philosophy of managing issues and being mindful of our resources and how to best utilise same for our growth and development.
” Nigeria is not where it ought to be despite our natural energy resources. We need to move power to where is needed.”
Omowumi further commended the convener of the event , Engineer Zayyan Tambari Yabo, who turned 40 while describing him as a true nationalist with patriotic zeal and resilience for provoking beneficial discuss on national issues for development.
” This Colloquium is in a way to celebrate your birthday even though I have the honour to state that we recognise your prime role and contributions to issues of cardinal importance to the country which we have not been able to address for long as a challenge.
” It is my hope that the rare event will prone and promote sound debate on our drive for national development. I will equally commend Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for establishing Energy and Petroleum Ministry in the state as step in the right direction .”
In his brief remarks, the Convener, Engineer Zayyan Tambari Yabo said he was inspired by the legacies of the founding fathers of the historic Sokoto Caliphate, who dwelled on the concept and mission of education and knowledge.
” I am following their footprint to also leave a mark on the sands of history for coming generations.
” We are determined to without hesitation build a new nation worthy of emulation. There is no excuse for inaction”, he vowed.
Yabo further urged Nigerian youths to be participatory in affairs that would add value to the course of national development by the rising to the challenges in the system.
Also speaking , the Special Guest of honour and Sokoto state Commissioner for Energy and Petroleum Resources, Alhaji Aliyu Dandin Mahe noted that the of the colloquium had captured the wisdom and beneficial approach of the state government for establishing the ministry, describing it as a toward looking drive to meeting the energy yearnings of people in the state.
Mahe disclosed that the state IPP project had reached 95% completed ion state and would be commissioned by the early part of next year.
” The state is also planning a 30 mega watts wind energy source. This is to further ensure an enabling environment in the stay for would be investors.”
Meanwhile, a 9-man discussants panel raised at the Colloquium noted d with concerns the need for responsive energy security mechanism to drive sufficiency as a critical component for national development.
It also observed there should be an urgent departure from Petroleum driven economy to renewable energy alternative through adequate and sustained planning and development approach in order to ensure access for economic growth.
Accordingly the panelists which had experts as Prof. Sunday Adefila, Ahmed Auwalu Ilu, Engr. Chinyere Nnenna, Engr. Auwal Anwar, Prof. Paul Mamza, Mr Kronakegha Uti, Dr Dankani Ibrahim Mustapha and Hadiza Garbati argued that renewable energy must be allowed to add value to the forces driving the economy.
” Nigeria needs relevant reform as a critical aspect that will launch the nation on the path of positive development.”
It further noted that with the ever rising unskillful and unproductive population, the country was fast sitting on a time bomb adding ” We must come to terms to liberalise the sector by addressing the fundamental legal tussle.
” Oil and Gas are major components which legal framework should be redefined to enable a sound and sustained economy for national development. Is a commodity for industrial development. 1% of it can propel the economy by 3.1% if utilised judiciously”, the panel pointed out