In line with the declaration of the year 2012 as the International Year of Sustain­able Energy for All, on 23 August 2012 the Presi­dent of the Federal Republic of Nige­ria, Dr Jonathan Goodluck, and the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Develop­ment Organization (UNIDO) and Co-chair of the high-level group on Sus­tainable Energy for All, Mr Kandeh K. Yumkella, launched the UN initiative on Sustainable Energy for All in Nigeria.

In his speech, the president, repre­sented by his Vice-president, Mr Namadi Sambo, noted that the country is commit­ted to fully implementing the objectives of the initiative by the year 2020, a decade ahead of the global target.

The initiative, launched by the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, aims to achieve the following by 2030: provide universal access to modern en­ergy services; double the rate of improve­ments in energy efficiency globally; and double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix. The achievement of these objectives in Africa’s first most populous country will have a significant impact on the socio-economic develop­ment of the people of Nigeria, of whom 60% presently do not have access to modern energy services.

The launching event brought togeth­er national and international dignitar­ies; representatives from the public and privates sectors, academic and fi­nancial institutions, national, regional and international development or­ganizations, in­cluding ECREEE, thus emphasizing the importance of this initiative to the country.

Furthermore, the event which was opened and closed by the then Minister of Power, Mr. Bart Nnaji, featured panel discussions on: Challenges and Opportunities for Nigeria in meeting the objectives of the initiative; Financing En­ergy Infrastructures for 2030, Integration of Local and Regional Energy Markets, moderated by Mr. Mahama Kappiah, the Executive Director of ECREEE; Account­ability and Tracking Results.

Nigeria’s decision to join this global effort is certain to add momentum to the success of the initiative in the ECOWAS region, and throughout the African con­tinent.