The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (oEN) on Monday called on African governments to stop accepting fossil fuel projects driven by European countries through their Export Credit Agencies (ECAs).
The Executive Director of oEN, Godwin Ojo made the call during a press briefing in Benin on the impacts of ECAs investment in fossil fuel in Nigeria
Ojo said the fossil fuel industry developments backed by ECAs contributed to climate change, affected agriculture, food security and also hampered a just energy transition to renewable energy.
“The fossil fuel industry developments are further contributing to climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases.
“About 20 per cent of the 123 gas flaring sites in Nigeria are located on Bonny island which makes this fossil enclave one of the chief emitters of greenhouse gases in Africa.
“In addition to supporting fossil projects, ECAs are also supporting large hydro dam projects in Nigeria.
“The dams are are often promoted as a recipe for low carbon emissions, but in reality are contributing to climate change by emitting methane.
“Like fossil related projects, hydro dams also generate negative impacts on local communities in terms of their socio-economic rights and their environment,” he said.
According to Ojo, out of the $80 billion invested in the energy sector in four countries of Africa namely Nigeria, Togo, Uganda and Ghana between 2013 to date, only one per cent of the total sum was channelled to renewable energy.
“Nigeria currently has an installed capacity of 12.522MW of energy but the country is only able to generate about 4,000MW which is insufficient in spite of the huge financial support to the energy sector.
“Over 22 million petrol generators are littered across the country to meet the electricity demand gap,” he added
Ojo explained that Nigeria has the potentials to make use of solar energy adding that the geographical location ensures the availability of abundant sunlight throughout the year.
He called on all stakeholders and financial institutions to actively start supporting the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and Africa in general.
Ojo also called on the Nigerian government to adopt stricter criteria to prevent financing of fossil fuel projects in the short term and halt fossil fuel exploitation
Edited By: Razak Owolabi