The Executive Director of the Environental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo has condemned the earmarking of N17 billion in this year’s budget for the purchase of power generating sets and diesel.

Dr Ojo condemned the act while declaring open a stakeholders’ consultative workshop for the promotion of Renewable Energy Alternative held in Benin City, yesterday.

He said: “We wish to state categorically that the Federal government immediately place a permanent ban on the importation of power generating sets for Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, in the country.

“Instead, they should work with the budget office to include a budget line for research and development of alternative sources of energy in solar lighting systems and fuel efficient cooking stoves. Nigeria should not be left behind in the global shift from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy as a response to curbing climate change and its devastating impacts “

He stated that energy demands in Nigeria outstrips supply which he said, hovers around 5,000 Mega Watts, saying that as a result, “over 70 per cent of the 170 million people depends solely on fuel wood for energy representing one of the world’s highest deforestation rate of 3.5 percent annually”

He attributed deforestation and uncontrolled logging as the major contributors to climate change that has assumed alarming proportions.

Dr. Ojo called on the Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs, to implement the Paris Agreement of which the country is a signatory which pledged to reduce its Green House Gases, GHG emission by 20 per cent unconditionally by 2020 and 45 per cent by 2030, if the needed support, means of implementation, finance and technology are funded by the developed countries.

He also called on the Nigerian government to support community energy initiatives which he explained, allows individuals and communities to be involved as co- producers and suppliers of non- grid and mini- grid systems by investing public finance, loans and subsidies from dirty energy to renewable sources of energy.