Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Renewable Energy, has underlined the pressing need for Nigeria to take deliberate and substantial steps towards investment in the renewable energy sector and related technologies.
In a recent address during the inauguration of the House Committee, he emphasized the growing global discourse on sustainable development, urging Nigeria to make substantial commitments to this vital sector.
Ogene, a former deputy House spokesman, highlighted the undeniable significance of renewable energy and technology. He noted that the 10th Assembly had established a committee dedicated to overseeing renewable energy affairs, signaling a shift away from the nation’s longstanding fixation on oil wealth and the use of environmentally detrimental fossil fuels to power its technology.
The lawmaker emphasized the importance of harnessing Nigeria’s abundant natural mineral resources, contending that the country has been endowed not only with these valuable assets but also with the wisdom, intellect, and ingenuity to safeguard its environment from the harmful effects of certain resources that have been overexploited.
Ogene articulated the adverse consequences of an overreliance on fossil fuels, describing them as “friendly enemies of mankind.” He drew attention to the impact of climate change and the gradual deterioration of the ozone layer, issues that may appear abstract to some but hold tangible implications for the world and, particularly, for Nigeria’s immediate economic and socio-political challenges.
The chairman also invoked the ongoing environmental crises in the Niger Delta region, stemming from oil spillages, gas flaring, and pollution of water and soil. These crises have not only disrupted agricultural activities but have also had dire consequences for aquatic life in the area. They stand as stark and relatable examples of the damaging effects of fossil energy on the environment.
In light of these challenges, Ogene stressed that the global quest for safer, sustainable, and renewable energy sources underscores the need for a fundamental shift in the way Nigeria approaches energy and environmental concerns. Beyond the call for clean energy, there is a growing global consensus on the importance of sustainable development in all aspects of life, including corporate and governance structures.