The Under Secretary General and Special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr. Kandeh Yumkela, who stated this at the International Legacy Lecture series held at the Bamanga Tukur African Renaissance Centre, Abuja, also disclosed that 600 million Africans have no access to electricity.
Yumkela, whose lecture was based on the theme; “The New International Development Agenda: Energy Transition and Sustainable Development,” said Nigeria needs a stable polity, focused public policy, public private partnership among others in order to end energy poverty.
He said: ?Today, the world faces some significant challenges in terms of looking at the trend of increase in energy demand with increase of about 50 to 60 percent in the next 30 to 35 year.
?Africa remains the most energy poor. Globally, 600 million Africans have no access to electricity. We also see a connection between energy demand and water demand.
“Nigeria probably has between 70 and 80 million people without electricity. Nigeria is a significant part of that energy poverty. Another statistic that is more frightening is that 80 percent of our people rely on firewood and charcoal for their family energy needs especially for cooking.
“This results in 800,000 premature deaths every year, cancer and a lot of problems for women and children.?We are pulling a global target of 30 to 40 percent reduction in gas flaring in the next five years to lead to zero flaring within the next decade. In the case of Africa, we are promoting strongly gas to power project,”?Yumkela stated.
Speaking in turn,?former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Nigeria?s Ambassador-at-Large, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who was the organizer of the lecture series, said for Africa to achieve continental integration, eradicate poverty and be fully integrated into the global economy, it needs to trade and work with Africans.
Tukur further said: ?Our job is to build institutions, not individuals because institutions outlive individuals.”
Amos Dunia in Abuja