The Secretary to the Sokoto State Government, Prof. Bashir Garba has bemoaned the lack of access to modern energy services by a large percentage of Nigerians.
Delivering the 24th Convocation Lecture of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, on Tuesday, the former rector of Sokoto State Polytechnic noted that the country’s per capita electricity consumption is abysmally low.
Speaking on the topic: Science and Technology in Nigeria: Antidote to contemporary socio-economic challenges, Garba said energy plays major role in reducing poverty, improving productivity and enhancing quality of lives of the people.
According to him, Nigeria’s per capital electricity consumption is four times less than African average and about 19 times less than that of the world’s average.
He pointed that none of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other sustainable development goals cannot be met without major improvement in the quality of energy services.
“A pressing concern is that some two billion people mostly in rural areas in developing countries like Nigeria do not have access to affordable modern energy services that could help them break out of the cycles of poverty, ill-health and deprivation.”
In relation to industrial development, he said the low electricity generation has slowed down pace of development in the sector.
“Energy is an important factor to the economic and social development of any nation. From 1999 till date, there is no significant improvement in Nigeria’s industrial sector largely to poor energy supply,” he added.
Garba suggested that access needs to be enhanced through the utilisation of renewable sources of energy essentially biomass, solar, wind, small and micro-hydro.
The professor argued that the country is not yet ripe for production of electricity through nuclear energy, saying that it lacked the technological knowhow and manpower despite being endowed with the required resources.