Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday demanded that Nigeria must commit to generating power from renewable energy and clean carbon-free sources, in order to build a future for the country.
He stated this during the inauguration of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library’s 2MW solar power project in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Obasanjo said renewable energy “is cheaper and good for the environment.”
He said, “Today, I am speaking to you in a facility powered by the sun – solar energy. It is the way of a future (Jimmy) Carter envisioned all those years ago. It will help build the future we want. The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library solar power project is a reflection of our commitment to clean and renewable energy and is the single largest investment this not-for-profit organisation has made.
“As large an investment as it is, it is remarkably cost effective. It costs less than two and half years supply of diesel to power our generators. So, in diesel terms, it pays for itself in less than three years. So in effect, the electricity it produces after three years is almost at no cost.
“In addition, because it is not emitting any greenhouse gases that diesel generators do, it has the potential to earn carbon credits which are currently priced at US$40/ton.
“Based on estimated annual production of 2,307,000 kilo Watt hours per year, we can expect to earn nearly US$39,589 in carbon credits per year.
“By monetising this facility with strategic sponsorships and marketing alliances, we will be able to generate revenue.
“Combined, this solar facility can generate electricity, generate revenues that contribute to the upkeep of the library, help save the planet making a small contribution to climate mitigation and adaptation, provide shade for parking, and be an inspiration for future generations. Who says you can’t make a profit out of saving the planet?”
Obasanjo, 84, said he “is a responsible steward for nature,” adding, “the facility marks one of the enduring personal legacies I am proud to call my own.”
Continuing, the former president said, “The recently concluded UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) was attended by over 1,000 universities from 68 countries, who witnessed powerful speeches and renewed commitments to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050, in some cases 2060 and in Nigeria’s case 2070.
“This is the best time for all Nigerian universities to sign-up to the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign, and commit to reducing their carbon emissions to zero by 2050 at the latest.
“We hope that by committing to consume renewable energy we inspire others to follow and still inform others to do their bit for the environment. Our great nation also needs to commit to producing our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources. This goal is achievable, affordable and transformative. It represents a challenge to all Nigerians – in every walk of life, to our political leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers, and to every citizen.
“This is a generational moment. I’m asking each of you to join me and build this future. Our success depends on our willingness as a people to undertake this journey. We have a duty of care for the planet and for every person upon it. We must fulfill it by making our energy system clean, efficient, affordable and sustainable.”