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Igniting Change; Energy Transition Office Hosts “Women in Energy Dialogue” Event in Lagos

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Nigeria, recognised as a high-impact country for achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) of universal access to clean and affordable energy, has prioritised bold action to address energy poverty and mitigate climate change. In 2021, Nigeria made history as the first African country to develop a comprehensive Energy Transition Plan (ETP) with the support of the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).

Following its approval by Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC), the ETP has been adopted as a national policy. To drive its implementation, an Energy Transition Implementation Working Group (ETWG), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and comprising key ministers, has been established. The ETWG is supported by the Energy Transition Office (ETO), with resources provided by SEforALL and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP).

Recognising the underrepresentation of women in the energy sector, the Energy Transition Office acknowledges the crucial role women play in catalysing the implementation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan and advancing cleaner energy technologies and solutions. In line with this vision, the Energy Transition Office organised the ETP-Women in Energy Dialogue event in Lagos on Thursday, May 19th, 2023, at the Art Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The Women in Energy Dialogue event brought together female professionals and women’s groups in the energy sector to explore how their skills, roles, and expertise can accelerate the implementation of the Energy Transition Plan. The event fostered collaboration among female professionals and groups across the energy supply chain and provided a platform for policymakers, industry leaders, and experts to develop actionable solutions in support of the Energy Transition Plan.


During her remarks, Lolade Abiola, Principal Specialist (Energy and Climate) and Co-Head of the Energy Transition Office, highlighted the disproportionate impact of inadequate energy access on women and children. She emphasised that Nigeria has seen a remarkable rise in the participation of women in the energy sector, taking on roles as solar entrepreneurs, capacity builders, policymakers, engineers, financiers, and communicators. Women are boldly asserting their presence in this traditionally male-dominated field.

Lolade Abiola emphasised the importance of women’s representation in addressing climate change and the energy transition. She highlighted the government’s response to global calls for reducing carbon emissions by 2060 and achieving universal access to energy by 2030.

The Energy Transition Plan (ETP), which focuses on five key sectors: cooking, transport, industry, oil and gas, and power, aims to transition to cleaner technologies such as electric and solar cooking, e-mobility, low-carbon industrial processes, and renewable energy in the power sector.

To achieve the ambitious goals of the ETP, substantial financial resources are required. Lolade revealed that approximately $410 billion would be needed over the lifespan of the projects, averaging around $10 billion per year. The ETO has been successful in mobilising around $8.2 billion in financing commitments, with ongoing efforts to secure further funds. The aim is to connect businesses with financiers who are interested in supporting clean technology and low-carbon projects. The ETO also engages with the private sector, with over $17 billion of the funding targeted for private sector investments.

In addition to the ETP, several market-shaping interventions have been introduced to encourage participation in energy transition projects. These include the Nigeria Integrated Energy Planning Tool, the Universal Energy Facility, which provides financial incentives, the African Carbon Market Initiative for generating carbon credits, and the Africa Renewable Energy Manufacturing Initiative to attract investment and localise the renewable energy value chain.

She posited that the priorities for the ETO are to institutionalise the ETP, engage with the new government to ensure sustainability, support projects to become self-sustaining, and advance market-enabling environmental reforms. Lolade emphasised the importance of partnerships with various organisations to achieve Nigeria’s energy transition goals and position the country as a leader in this field.

The event featured prominent stakeholders from various sectors of the energy industry, including Fauza Chevonne Okediji, Manager of Utility Innovation at GEAPP; Ruchi Soni, Programme Manager at SEforALL; Caroline Eboubom, CEO of ALLOn; Kemi Onabanjo, Associate Partner at McKinsey; Habiba Abubakar, GM of Channels Ardova; Lanre Shasore, SSA to the President on Planning and Coordination; Yewande Awonuga, Partner at Templars; Ify Akiwumi-Thompson, Financing specialist; Ibiene Okeleke, MD of Energy Training Centre, and Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, Head/Principal Finance Specialist of the Energy Transition Office.

The speakers at the event emphasised the importance of collaboration, with women playing a vital role as leaders and consumers in building confidence in the use of clean energy technologies. The event featured two panel sessions: “The Role of Female Leaders and Entrepreneurs in Energy Transition” and “Capacity and Financing Female-led Businesses,” and participants shared their personal journeys and the impact they have had on the sector.

The conversation highlighted that there is a huge opportunity in the energy sector as Nigeria seeks to transition from fossil fuel dependency to more sustainable energy sources, and the country needs about $410 billion to bring the plan into effect, translating to about $10 billion per year over the project period.

The dialogue also revealed that pipeline projects have been set up to support the energy transition plan in terms of generation, transmission, and new distribution, to take advantage of the funding. On the other hand, the government, through the Energy Transition Office, has facilitated the financing of the projects and is building connections between financiers and projects.

Another key takeaway was that the Energy Transition Office wants to support small businesses to be properly positioned to access those funds while also supporting project development and actively seeking balanced participation in advancing the energy agenda.

Delivering the closing remarks, Muntaqua Umar-Sadiq, Head, Energy Transition Office, thanked participants for their robust contributions. Expressing appreciation for the positive tone of conversations, which he said was indicative of a paradigm shift from the “victims to leaders” mindset.


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