The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, has expressed optimism that when fully harnessed, power generation from heat, coal among other sources within the earth can make Nigeria self-sufficient in the generation of power for industrial and domestic use.
Speaking in Abuja while declaring open the 2018 discourse series organised by the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) and The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) with the theme: “Geothermal Energy Resources of Nigeria: An Untapped Potential For Socio-economic Development,” Mustapha, who was represented by the permanent secretary, General Service Office (GSO), Olusegun Adekunle, expressed the commitment of the federal government to improving power supply in the country despite inheriting a low energy situation which according to him, stood between 2000 to 2,090 megawatts under the previous government.
“Due to government’s concerted efforts, record shows that distribution has risen to over 5,000 megawatts while transmission and generation have risen to about 7,000 megawatts.
“Despite this effort, only about 58 per cent of Nigerians have access to electricity and this has informed the policy thrust of the federal government in the diversification of the primary source of energy.
“Talking about power shortage, the federal government has put together and adopted a home grown strategy under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020,” he said.
Mustapha , who regretted that Nigeria has primary sources of power generation which among others include coal, oil and gas, hydropower, solar and others, and yet has not fully tapped the potentials within geothermal energy source especially as the demand for power supply among Nigerians continues to grow, reinstated the efforts of the federal government to support any effort to generate energy especially renewable energy from alternative sources for the economic development of Nigeria.
He charged NMGS and NGSA to utilise the opportunity of the dialogue to come up with clear actionable initiatives that would turnaround the power deficit the country is confronted with. Speaking, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, said the government would do all it could to provide a conducive environment for the generation of cleaner and cheaper energy supply for the benefit of Nigerians. Bwari, who described the ministry as critical in Nigeria’s quest to diversify its energy sources, thanked NMGS and NGSA for the initiative, saying the ministry would explore bitumen, coal and other sources in enhancing the Nigerian power generation.
In his speech, the president, Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Prof. Silas Dada, who acknowledged the key role of energy in the economic development, employment generation and security of any nation, expressed optimism that the dialogue session would provide a veritable roadmap for the government in its efforts to tackle the energy deficit in Nigeria through geothermal sources.