Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa yet the nation still faces serious energy poverty issues, with energy supply falling short of energy demand. Furthermore, Nigeria has the second highest levels of carbon emissions in Africa together with a large population and a growing middle class that is likely to need more access to energy. Through the Paris Agreement, Nigeria has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 20% unconditionally and 45% conditionally, compared to business-as-usual levels, by 2030.
Despite the huge investments made in the energy sector since the privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, about 75 percent of the Nigerian population still live without access to regular electricity supply. Without constant regular power supply, Nigeria will not be able to improve its development prospects and Nigerians will remain trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty.
Three key factors contribute to Nigeria’s high levels of emissions:
- Many Nigerians, because of limited electricity supply from the national grid, provide their own electricity for business and personal use by means of privately owned fossil fuel powered generators.
- Nigeria is the second largest gas flaring country in the world and emits around $1.8 billion worth of gas annually – even though so many Nigerian’s don’t have access to energy. Oil companies have the responsibility to end gas flaring in Nigeria. Considering that gas flaring is illegal in Nigeria, it amounts to bad faith to consider flare reduction projects in Nigeria as Clean Development Mechanism projects. Gas flaring reduction projects in Nigeria should not qualify for any global carbon credit scheme. The only reason why gas is flared in Nigeria is that the Nigerian government fails to abide by its own laws and national commitments to its own people.
- As of 2005, Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Between 2000 and 2005 the country lost 55.7% of its primary forests, and the rate of forest change increased by 31.2% to 3.12% per annum. Forest has been cleared for logging, timber export, subsistence agriculture and notably the collection of wood for fuel which remains problematic in western Africa. Even now, the Cross River State Government is clearing part of the only tropical rain forest left (The Cross River National Park) in the name of the controversial Super High Way.
The Nigerian government is currently exploring the possibility of establishing ‘dirty’ coal plants when all countries of the world are shouting down their coal plants to the high emissions. Worst stilthe Government is exploring the possibility of establishing nuclear energy facilities.
African Climate Reality Project is opposed to nuclear for electricity generation in Africa because:
- Nuclear is not a clean source of energy
- Nuclear is not safe
- Nuclear creates health hazards for African citizens
- Nuclear is very expensive
- Nuclear is the inappropriate technology to meet energy needs in Africa
- Nuclear uses lots of water
- Nuclear does not create more jobs than other forms of electricity generation
The African Climate Reality Project is also hugely concerned about the lack of transparency in the extractive and the nuclear industries. We believe that African citizens are being (see our statement on this matter).