The Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, says the country’s renewable energy and energy efficiency sector has continued to grow rapidly thereby heightening the need for a skilled workforce to support the sector.
Aliyu spoke at “Energise- First Career Fair for the Clean Energy Sector” on Tuesday in Lagos.
The fair was organised by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Associations – Alliance ( REEEA-A) in collaboration with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), European Union and the German Government.
Over 25 companies in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector and no fewer than 115 professionals seeking to advance their careers in the clean energy sector participated in the fair.
Represented by Mr Abubakar Ali-Dapshima, Director, Renewable and Rural Power Access, Ministry of Power, Aliyu said the fair was designed to facilitate the matching of competences with available opportunities within the country’s clean energy sector.
According to him, with the push for cleaner sources of energy, renewable energy is one of the fastest growing high technology sector in the global economy.
He said the growth of the renewable energy sector had heightened the need for a skilled workforce that would help support the strengthening of power and energy access initiatives of the government, sector actors and partners.
The minister noted that renewable energy was one of the ways government was providing electricity to Nigerians in the rural areas not connected to the national grid.
To this end, he said the government had been developing solar mini-grids and remains committed to achieving a carbon net zero by 2060.
Earlier, the Head of Programme, NESP, Mr Duke Benjamin, emphasised the commitment of the programme to reinforcing the skills and capacity force in the sector.
Benjamin, represented by Mr Olumide Fatoki, Head of Unit, Sustainable Energy Access, (NESP) said renewable energy sector was growing in the country and need about 30,000 young Nigerians to fill the gap in the sector.
He commended the efforts of the funding and implementation partners of the career fair, adding that it was the first step towards establishing a skill-matching collaboration platform for the clean energy sector.
Dr Aminu Isa, Deputy Director, Energy Commission of Nigeria and a member of the REEEA-A Steering Committee, highlighted the importance of collaborations as a key driver of the expected growth in the energy sector.
“As an Alliance of associations within the Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) sector, we are very much interested in this synergy.
“This is aimed at improving the quality and standards of RE and EE technologies while also strengthening capacity in terms of knowledge generation and skills distribution,” he said.
In a goodwill message, Ms Inga Stefanowicz, the Head of Section, Green and Digital Economy at the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said youth and job creation were major Key Performance Indicators for EU in the country.
“We are happy to support the implementation of this activity that contributes to multiple Sustainable Development Goals in one go, particularly the creation of decent work within the RE and EE sector to foster economic growth in the country,” she said.
Abuja leg of the fair is scheduled to hold on April 12.
Over 100 professionals are expected to physically participate in the Abuja event, with capacity provided for an additional 250 to participate virtually.