The Nigerian Government has called on professional women in the engineering and other critical sectors to champion the country’s Energy Transition Plan by taking advantage of over 18 million jobs that would be created through the adoption and deployment of low carbon energy sources across Nigeria.
This was disclosed by Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), at the opening ceremony of the four-day 2022 National Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan presents a unique opportunity for professional women across different sectors of the economy to be at the forefront of steering a sustainable energy future.
The Minister said Nigeria’s zero emission target requires the active involvement of all genders in order to be successful. He said that the over 18 million jobs that needed to be created must reflect gender balancing.
Dr. Mamowora said, “ More women are needed to work in the renewable energy sector space.
“The global economy will in future rely solely on solar energy, green hydrogen and other renewable forms of energy.
The Minister however called on stakeholders and the members of APWEN to take advantage of the policies of the government on energy transition to drive sustainable development in the country.
He said, “The interesting thing is that the government cannot and does not have the capacity to do it alone, which is why partnership is key.
“The energy transition cannot take place without STI which is also being championed by the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria,’’ the minister said.
Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), who was represented by Mrs Margaret Oguntala, Deputy President of the NSE, at the event said energy transition is a crucial enabler of sustainable development as well as climate resilience.
He said, “Energy transition will create new jobs, stimulate growth and harvest social and health benefits.
“More so, the increasing penetration of renewable energy into the energy supply mix and the onset of electrification and improvements in energy storage are all key drivers of the energy transition,’’ he said.
The NSE president however noted that the transition process would come with its peculiar challenges especially as it concerns deployment of technologies, but noted that the transition has the potential to improve the human race.
Dr Elizabeth Eterigho, President of APWEN, said that the association, in its 39 years of existence, had inspired young girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by sponsoring competitions and giving awards.
“This year 2022, we introduced a program tagged FunSTEM. It is observed that STEM teaching in public schools, particularly in upper primary and junior secondary school has not been effective.
“Girls deserve to have access to an education that prepares them for the jobs of the future and to be ready and equipped to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,’’ she said.
The APWEN president said the theme of the conference: “JUST Energy Transition: An Enabler for Sustainable Development in Nigeria” was apt; however, the transition of the energy sector would require significant investments.
Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board(NCDMB), who was represented by Silas Ajimijaye, NCDMB’s Research and Statistics Manager, on the theme: “JUST Energy Transition Strategy in Africa: An Enabler of Sustainable Development in Nigeria.” said
Nigeria is among the top 10 economies in hydrocarbon resources with 37 billion barrels reserves and 206 standard cubic foot gas.
He insisted that the revenue from the sales of the hydrocarbon resources is needed to build the infrastructure, the framework and technology required to drive the green energy future in Nigeria
He noted that Nigeria is 132 in the global per capita energy consumption ranking, with 145 Kilowatt hour energy consumption. He added that the country must ensure energy sufficiency before fully transiting to renewable.