Experts explore strategies to meeting Nigeria’s energy demands at Stanbic IBTC Energy and Infrastructure Breakfast Session

By Adetunji Faleye

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy, is facing a critical challenge in meeting its energy demands. The country, with its rapidly growing population and expanding industries, needs to ensure a stable and sustainable energy supply to support economic growth and development.

However, Nigeria has long struggled with inadequate power generation, distribution inefficiencies, and a heavy reliance on fossil fuels. In 2024 and beyond, the country must adopt a multifaceted approach to address these challenges and secure its energy future.

Stanbic IBTC Bank has taken an important step towards exploring strategies for meeting Nigeria’s energy demand by organizing an Energy and Infrastructure Breakfast Session. The event, themed “Powering Nigeria: Strategies for Meeting the Energy Demands in 2024 and Beyond,” was held on Tuesday, April 16 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Addressing the gathering, Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, emphasized the significance of the event in fostering new business relationships and facilitating networking opportunities across Nigeria’s economy. He highlighted the event’s role in stimulating discussions and providing enlightening presentations on pivotal industry developments, market insights, and avenues for growth. He added that because of the uniqueness of Stanbic IBTC Bank, the bank is capable of helping its customers with it balance sheet.

During the session, esteemed speakers such as Engr. Antonio Ayodele, representing Mr. Biodun Ogunleye, Honourable Commissioner of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Lagos State, emphasized that the transition to a renewable energy future requires more than just technological solutions. There is a need to enact reforms to streamline energy processes, create a fundamental shift in mindset, and enhance collaboration and collective responsibility.

Muyiwa Oni, Regional Head, Equity Research, Standard Bank Group, mentioned that the current administration has put plans and policies in place to improve non-oil exports, which will consequently reduce the level of borrowing.

Edson Machel, Head, Energy and Infrastructure Finance for Investment Banking, Standard Bank Mozambique, shared insights from Mozambique, where more than 95% of energy is from renewable resources. He highlighted a scaling problem in growing resources to match the nation’s growth.

Gabriel Ogbechie, ‘GMD’ of Rainoil Limited, emphasized the role of oil and gas in meeting Nigeria’s growing energy demand, emphasizing the need to ensure energy security, adequacy, and affordability.

Alhaji Abba Aliyu, MD of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), highlighted the Nigeria Electrification Project as the largest in Africa, aimed at incentivizing private stakeholders to address energy sector challenges through renewable energy.

Members of the panel at the event, including Dr. Tayo Adiatu, Engr. Wole Ogunsanya, Mr. Ola Olabinjo, Mr. Damola Adeyemi, Mr. Hakeem Shagaya, Mr. Omotayo Hassan, and Alhaji Abba Aliyu, emphasized the importance of increasing investments in renewable and non-renewable energy sources. They believe that Nigeria has abundant renewable energy resources, particularly solar, which can be harnessed to diversify its energy mix and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. They also suggested that the government should incentivize private sector participation in renewable energy projects through tax breaks, subsidies, and favorable regulatory frameworks.

The experts suggested that the country needs to improve its energy infrastructure, including the expansion and modernization of the power grid, to reduce transmission losses and improve the efficiency of electricity delivery. They also recommended investing in smart grid technologies to better manage energy demand and supply, leading to a more stable and reliable power system.

Panelists emphasized the need for collaboration between non-renewable and renewable energy sources to achieve crucial sustainable energy development for the country in 2024 and beyond.

Remy Osuagwu, Executive Director of Business and Commercial Banking at Stanbic IBTC Bank, delivered closing remarks at the conclusion of the Stanbic IBTC Energy and Infrastructure Breakfast Session.

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