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Nigeria’s Dream of Renewable Energy Revolution (II)

Namibia: Peugeot Will Export 'Once Issues Are Resolved'

IN a sense, and as in the case of petrol, countries that do not have as much sunshine as Africa are already ‘selling sunshine’ to Nigeria through photovoltaic solar panels and other renewable energy equipment.

In February 2018, the Nigeria Customs Service arbitrarily imposed a five per cent duty and five per cent VAT on solar panels coming into Nigeria, triggering protests from the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, REAN, a private sector renewable energy interest group.

Already, batteries needed for storage of solar energy are suffering a 20 per cent duty. Yet, solar panels are supposed to be exempted from duties, according to Nigeria’s Harmonised Systems Codes classification. These duties hiked the cost of solar equipment, resulting in the closure of many solar firms.

There was general outrage among Nigerians on February 16, 2021 when the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, disclosed, while receiving members of the Hausa Guild of Actors and Film Producers, Kannywood, that Nigeria has been spending N50 billion monthly as subsidy for electricity supply.

Nigeria is obviously still paying dearly for the miscarried involvement of the private sector in our power supply. If this amount was dedicated to our renewable energy efforts our power supply woes would change for the better in ten years.

Considering the monumental problems bedeviling electricity supply in Nigeria – non-availability of gas, operation and maintenance difficulties, corruption, underfunding and others – it is obvious that one of the solution to the country’s power problems lies in the massive investment in renewable energy.