COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE AFRICAN ENGINEERING CONFERENCE ON ENERGY, HELD AT IBOM TROPICANA CONFERENCE CENTRE UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE FROM MONDAY 21ST – 25TH NOVEMBER, 2016
Theme: Adequate, Reliable and Sustainable Energy in Africa
During his investiture as the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE), President Buhari was widely quoted as paying superlative compliments to Nigerian Engineers.
His Excellency said “I think that if Nigerian Engineers are denied their roles, it is not the fault of the profession. It is the fault of some individual governments. Other governments have done their best and found Nigerian Engineers competent and cost effective. Nigerian Engineers are very quick in uptaking and performing in the field”. It was also statedduring that event that “For example, in China, between 2000 and 2013, all the nine members of the Standing Committee (Ministers) of the Politburo were trained engineers. Currently, about half of the cabinet ministers in Singapore are engineers and in China, 70 per cent of the cabinet are engineers.”
The African Engineering Conference on Energy, UNESCO Africa Engineering Week, and the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Conference tagged “Land of Promise 2016” held from Monday 21st to Friday 25th November, 2016 at Ibom Tropicana Conference Centre, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. This was done in collaboration with the Federation of African Engineering Organisation (FAEO) and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The President of NSE, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng welcomed the dignitaries and affirmed that Nigerian engineers are very competent and compare favourably with their foreign counterparts. He emphasised the need for governments at federal and state levels to consider professionalism in appointments of Heads of Engineering based Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The Conference was declared open by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel. He thanked the NSE for bringing this very important Conference to his State and further appreciated the contributions of Nigerian engineers in national development. He emphasised that every aspect of life and development has engineering content and then assured NSE of his readiness to host the Conference in future.
The President of FAEO, Engr Mustafa B. Shehu, FNSE, FSESN and Presidents of some African Engineering Organisations namely: Ghana, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Rwanda graced the opening ceremony. The keynote address was given by Dr Enang Moma a representative of UNESCO Multi Sectoral Regional Office Director, Abuja. There were eight (8) invited papers and forty (40) technical papers. The National Spouses’ Forum donated a Solar powered borehole with 1000 gallons overhead, and 500 gallons ground tanks installed at the Primary Healthcare Centre Ikot Aya Ikono. The borehole system was commissioned on 22nd November 2016 by the wife of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, H.E. Deaconess Martha Udom Emmanuel.
After fruitful deliberations, the following observations and recommendations were made:
1. RENEWABLE ENERGY
The Conference observed that though Africa is endowed with huge resources for renewable energy, meeting the enormous energy demand for development in Africa has been a challenge. The Conference therefore made the following recommendations:
a) African Governments should develop the political will to harness renewable energy resources as well as imbibe energy efficiency and best practices to optimize energy demand.
b) African Governments should strengthen human skills and infrastructural capacities in their various Countries to handle renewable energy technologies.
c) Governments and the private sector should invest more on R&D required to improve efficiencies and bring down cost of renewable energy technologies.
d) Energy resources should be diversified to include other sources such as Hydro Power, Biomass, solar, wind and tidal systems.
Observations / Recommendations
The Conference noted the crucial role of regulations in enhancing the reliability and sustainability of energy systems and observed that the African Electricity market is still facing numerous challenges ranging from the following: inability of Generating Stations (GenCos) and Distributing Companies (Discos) to invest in the system and increase capacities; inadequate metering of consumers, several transmission bottlenecks; poor quality of services; inability of the gas suppliers to make available gas to the power plants.
Lack of access and reliable energy supply to rural dwellers has undermined the economic activities in the rural areas inhibiting establishment of small and medium scale enterprises thereby escalating poverty levels despite high potentials for economic activities that will improve the nation’s food security
Conference therefore recommends that:
a) The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and other Electricity regulatory Commissions in African Countries should strengthen their regulatory mechanisms for energy savings and efficiency in the Market.
b) The Electricity Regulatory Commission should use their powers to enforce the commitments made by the Discos on closing the metering gap as contained in their business plans during the privatization of the entities.
c) To improve on power supply for sustainability, effective commercial framework for supply of gas to power plants has to be ensured through formidable “Gas-to-Power Policy for sustainability of fuel supply.
d) The Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) should be reviewed, Gas Transportation Agreement, cost reflective tariffs for gas supply and transportation.
e) Public-Private Partnership project implementation should be adequately monitored to ensure compliance.
The Conference noted that the Power Transmission infrastructure is grossly inadequate and do not have the modern equipment for operation and management.
The Conference therefore recommends:
a. Urgent Intervention in transmission to enable sourcing of funds to strengthen and expand the transmission network for reliability.
b. As the industry relies on most of its operational equipment and spare parts on importation, African Governments should look into the possibility of intervention in the provision of FOREX for procurement of critical equipment and parts while local production is encouraged through credit facilities with low interest rates and waivers.
c. For Nigeria, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (FMoPW&H), should prevail on the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) management to evolve innovative means of managing the transmission resources.
3. OIL AND GAS
It was noted that in Africa especially Nigeria, the energy situation is vulnerable because there is inefficient and inadequate refining capacity in the countries. In addition, there is inadequate gas transmission infrastructure.
The conference therefore recommends
a) Optimum utilization of existing refineries and facilitation of establishment of additional refineries.
b) There is need for co-operation amongst West African and other regional member states towards establishing regional energy hubs that will guarantee sustainability in supply of gas in the future.
c) Also, member states should strive to develop their internal gas market, and remove both commercial and regulatory barriers in order to make it easy to access regional gas hubs. This is necessary to launch the region in the right track to an effective regional gas market
4. WASTE TO ENERGY
The Conference observed that
Africa is challenged with dwindling fossil fuel sources and growing concerns about climate change, effective waste disposal technique and pollution control. Energy generation capacity in Nigeria for example is grossly inadequate at per capita generation rate of approximately 23.6Watts with a municipal solid waste load of about 40,959 tonnes per day, projected to reach 101,307 tonnes per day by 2025 based on 2012 World bank estimate. Wastes to energy are an area that has a lot of energy mix potential for Nigeria but is yet to be developed.
The Conference therefore recommends that:
a) African Governments should put in place policies, institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks for development of waste- to -energy with incentives that will encourage research and investment.
b) Governments in conjunction with Private Sectors should implement Installation of biomass gasifier plants and some small sized rotary dryers for provision of reliable heating for drying and electricity for rural enterprises thus increasing the income generated by the rural communities.
c) African Governments should adopt appropriate waste to energy conversion Technology especially anaerobic digestion to sustainably generate electricity from organic materials and agricultural waste through primary product biogas which is eco-friendly.
5. 2017 EXECUTIVE OFFICERS:
With the collaboration of NSE and the NigComSat Ltd, the Society successfully deployed e-voting, wholly developed by Nigerian Engineers, for the election of the following officers to run its affairs in 2017:
i. Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE – President
ii. Engr. Adekunle O Mokuolu FNSE – Deputy President
iii. Engr. Gidari Tasiu, Wudil FNSE – Vice President
iv. Engr. Dr. Mrs Edith Ishidi, FNSE – Vice President
v. Engr. Joseph Akinteye, FNSE -Vice President
vi. Engr. Mrs. Halimat Adediran, MNSE – Executive Committee Member
vii. Engr. Ibitoye Adeniran, FNSE – Executive Committee Member
viii. Engr. Nkemnasom S E Eziokwu, MNSE – Executive Committee Member
ix. Engr. Yakubu Ali Garba, FNSE – Executive Committee Member
x. Engr. Jide Atandeyi, FNSE – Executive Committee Member
xi. Engr. Nnenna C Igwegbe, MNSE – Executive Committee Member
xii. Engr. Ademola I. Olorunfemi, FNSE – Immediate Past President
xiii. Engr. Olusola Obadimu, MNSE – Executive Secretary
Engr. Olusola Obadimu, MNSE