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United Nations, Secretary General Antonio Guterres, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his leadership roles in Africa as well as stabilization of the West African sub-region.

The Secretary General spoke in a meeting with the Nigerian President at the sidelines of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly taking place in New York.

According to the UN Scribe, Africa, especially West Africa was generally seen as an ocean of stability and good governance, but was deeply concerned at recent reversal of fortunes in democratic rule in some parts of the West African sub-region with coups overturning elected institutions.

He, therefore, urged President Buhari to continue to show leadership as he looks up to Nigeria to help stabilize the sub-region in terms of democracy and good governance.

On terrorism, the Secretary General commended the efforts of Nigeria on this global phenomenon, assuring the Nigerian leader of the United Nations’ continued support in her efforts to address the prevailing security and humanitarian challenges that have arisen especially with the Internally Displaced Persons.

He also commended Nigeria’s efforts on climate change, expressing willingness of the world body to cooperate with the country in this regard.

President Buhari applauded Mr Gutterres for his global leadership and the success of the 76th Session.

He assured the Secretary General that Nigeria had achieved appreciable successes in tackling the insecurity caused by terrorists and bandits. The President also thanked him for the global organisation’s intervention in activities towards reducing the effects of Climate Change especially with the support for the Great Green Wall programme, which is aimed at arresting desertification across the Sahel as well as the campaign against deforestation in Nigeria.

President Buhari added that Nigeria was ready to support and work closely with the United Nations towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Terrific Headlines notes that Nigeria is widely regarded as the engine of the economy of West-Africa, a motivator of the African Union, and the catalyst of African renaissance. Such is the importance of Nigeria in global politics that it is believed that whatever happens in Nigeria has the possibility of reverberating to other nations in the continent. Nigeria is abundantly endowed with human and material resources that could sustain a broad-based growth and development. Nigeria’s economy constitutes 76 per cent of the economy of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. Nigeria also holds 30 per cent of the economy in sub-Saharan Africa, and 21 per cent of Africa’s economy.

Nigeria boasts of the highest pool of highly educated and trained manpower in Africa, in addition to its large population which offers the largest market for investors in Africa. Poor management of the almost limitless and vast human and material resources available over the years has been identified as the bane of Nigeria since independence. From a steadily growing economy sustained by agriculture over four decades ago, the revenue accruing to the nation grew rather steeply, giving rise to the phenomenon of over-reliance on crude oil for economic development. .
In another development, President Muhammadu Buhari Friday said that Nigeria is working on an ambitious Energy Plan towards reducing the energy shortcomings by year 2030.

A government statement signed by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina reveals that Buhari spoke in line with Nigeria’s role as a Global Theme Champion for the Energy Transition, theme of the High-Level Dialogue on Energy at the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly in New York.

According to President Buhari, “Nigeria’s commitment to a just transition is reflected in our ambitious Energy Compact, which includes the Government’s flagship project to electrify Five-Million households and Twenty-Million people using decentralized solar energy solutions. This is a major first step towards closing our energy access deficit by 2030.

“Nigeria’s commitment is also reflected in the development of our Energy Transition Plan, which was developed with 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 mobilize enough financing to empower countries to implement those plans,” he said.

According to him, “the scale of financing required for Nigeria to achieve net-zero, amounts to over Four-Hundred Billion US Dollars across the Nigerian economy in excess of business-as-usual spending over the next thirty years.This breaks down to One-Hundred and Fifty-Five Billion US Dollars net spend on generation capacity, One-Hundred and Thirty-Five Billion US Dollars on transmission and distribution infrastructure, Seventy-Five Billion UD Dollars on buildings, Twenty-One Billion US Dollars on industry and Twelve-Billion US Dollars on transport.”
The President, however, said that gas would continue to have a big role to play before it is phased out, explaining that solid fuel cooking was 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, which includes the development and integration of renewables into current grid infrastructure at tremendous scale and electrification of all sectors. 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.”

President Buhari noted that these plans must also take into account, the provision of access to electricity and clean cooking solutions for those in Nigeria and around the world currently without access, strssing that, “an often-overlooked point is the essential role of gas in addressing clean cooking challenges.”

“Globally there are 2.6 billion people who lack access to clean cooking -which is unacceptable,” adding: “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.”

TERRIFIC HEADLINES states that records indicate that a significant portion of Nigeria’s population is still without access to electricity and there is a lack of renewable resource energy in Nigeria, with only 0.35% of its energy supply coming from hydro and 0.001% coming from wind or solar. In 2019, about 62 percent of the population in Nigeria had access to electricity. The highest percentage of population without access to electricity was located in rural areas. Records of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission indicate that The generation sub-sector presently includes 23 grid-connected generating plants in operation with a total installed capacity of 10,396 MW (available capacity of 6,056 MW) with thermal based generation having an installed capacity of 8,457.6MW (available capacity of 4,996 MW) and hydropower having 1,938.4 MW of total output.


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