By Emeka Ejere
Actimg President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, says the deployment and transfer of locally relevant climate technologies remain the best solution to climate change challenges.
The Office of the Vice-President said Osinbajo made the statement on Friday at the inauguration of the Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre (NCIC) situated at the Enterprise Development Centre of the Lagos Business School.
Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice-President, made Osinbajo’s view known in a statement on Saturday.
The Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre is a public-private partnership involving the Federal Government, the World Bank Group and the Pan-Atlantic University.
The Centre provides holistic, country-driven support to accelerate the development, deployment and transfer of locally relevant climate and clean energy technologies.
Osinbajo said the task of advancing climate action was crucial, especially for Nigeria, in the view of the challenge of climate change and the need for the adoption of an innovative approach.
“The pressure for livelihoods and food for a huge population will put tremendous pressure on natural resources and the implications for climate change will be dire indeed.
“The creation of an enabling environment for climate-smart businesses to thrive is simply the only way to go,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said he had visited several start-ups, technology hubs and innovation spaces around the country and seen innovativeness, creativity and drive of Nigerians.
He said Nigerians were “constantly developing and deploying solutions in many sectors’’, including “agriculture, health, transport, security, climate action and many more locally relevant climate technologies’’.
According to him, one of the key sectors where there is potential for high impact interventions by green technologies is the off-grid solar sector.
Osinbajo said the Solar Home Project and Energising Economies Initiative were some of the private-sector-driven efforts targeted at providing off-grid power to homes, markets and economic clusters across the country.
He said that so far, 13,000 shops at Sabon-Gari Market in Kano were currently being powered through high-capacity stand-alone solar systems.
He said more were expected to come on stream soon at the Ariaria Market in Aba, Sura Market in Lagos, and other markets in Oyo, Edo and Ondo states.
The acting president challenged the new climate Centre to develop and deploy technology and expertise required to deliver clean energy in areas prone to oil pollution and other related hazards.
According to him, the innovation Centre must seek to develop the technology and expertise required to deal with the oil spill challenge in the Niger Delta region.
He said the Federal Government was investing considerably in Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) to help overcome challenges and risks brought about by the use of kerosene and firewood in homes.
Osinbajo tasked the NCIC team to come up with innovation in smart cooking equipment that could utilise LPG in the most efficient manner.
The acting president urged stakeholders in the off-grid power sector to take advantage of the Green bond issued by the Federal Government and the opportunities provided at the newly inaugurated climate Centre to fund their projects.
“It provides a platform to attracting or unlocking venture financing and private equity funds for climate-smart businesses and Nigerians providing climate-smart solutions,’’ Osinbajo said.