The federal government has provide a more robust clean cooking database, modelling for various access expansion scenarios as well as mitigation implications.
A document was released by the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Heinrich Boell Foundation, World Resources Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute, which will help Nigeria to meet its obligations to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The theme of the workshop was “Clean Cooking in Nigeria’s Revised NDC – ambition, mitigation implications and the way forward” held in Abuja to disseminate the wider range of research findings to stakeholders.
Speaking during the workshop, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Dr. Anthonia Ekpa, expressed excitement on the determination of the federal government to meet its climate change obligations by ensuring that Nigerian households convert from harmful cooking fuels such as fuelwood, charcoal and kerosene to cooking gas and efficient wood stoves.
According to Ekpa, “The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs is fully committed to supporting the actualisation of clean cooking targets in the NDC. The ministry is seeking to expand access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services in Nigerian communities.”
She stressed that already the federal government has announced a cooking gas expansion programme to reach 30 million households by 2025. As part of efforts to reach the rural areas, the government is also concluding plans to scale up the use of locally-made improved wood stove technologies.
“To enhance Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment has launched a number of studies to explore the opportunities for delivering clean cooking solutions as part of Nigeria’s ambition to scale up its commitment to the Paris climate agreement.
According to Executive Director of ICEED, Mr. Ewah Eleri, “expanding access to clean cooking fuels and technologies in Nigeria comes with multiple benefits. Universal access to clean cooking can save up to a million lives in Nigeria by 2030. WHO reports that Nigeria loses 94,300 lives yearly as a result of smoke from the kitchen. Reaching national targets on clean cooking will also help remove the over 30 million tonnes yearly carbon dioxide emissions from Nigerian kitchens and help restore the country’s forests.
One of the contributors to the clean cooking research, Adeola Eleri of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, said there is a strong linkage between the level of poverty and choice of cooking fuels and technologies, especially among the poorest segment of the society.
“The poorer a household is, the more likely they will choose fuelwood for cooking. While richer households often choose cleaner fuels and technologies, they often combine fuel types according to their various cooking needs.
According to Eleri, “other factors influencing the choice of fuels include their affordability, availability and accessibility.
However, for the federal government to reach its target among the poorest, especially in rural areas there is a need for bold policy support mechanisms”, she concluded.
While poverty is apparently a major obstacle to expanding access to clean cooking, several countries with the lower gross domestic product than Nigeria seem to have made more progress than Nigeria, says Precious Onuvae, a contributor to the study.
Stakeholders lamented the lack of financing and suitable technologies as major obstacles to reaching the clean cooking targets of the country.
A lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Temilade Sesan submitted that the problem is much deeper than that. According to her, “Nigeria lags behind in access to clean cooking because the interest of influential private sector businesses and the government does not necessarily align with the need to provide clean cooking to the poorest households. Today, the alignment between private business interest with the interest of the government to deepen the use of cooking gas is enjoying political support and creating momentum for the cooking energy market. This, unfortunately, does connect with the interest of the poorest households”, she concluded.
Another researcher, Okey Ugwu provided examples of the activities that will help Nigeria attain its clean cooking goals. Some of these projects include the building of training centres for the construction of efficient wood stoves in all six geopolitical zones. On the supply of cooking gas, he proposed the setting up of at “least one cylinder manufacturing plant in each geopolitical zone, establish at least 7,400 skid plants by 2025 and build new LPG terminals in northern Nigeria”, he concluded.