By Agatha Chitumu, Abuja

The need for private sectors collaboration to enhance positive turn around in the power sector has again been restated.

At the event with the theme: Affordable, Reliable and Sustainable Energy through Collaboration, the Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu stressed the roles of traditional utilities in ensuring affordable, reliable, and sustainable  energy.

According to the Minister, global energy access has remained a major challenge in addressing the quality of lives and global prosperity.

Also in a statement by the Chief Marketing Officer, AEDC, Mr Donald Etim, the parley he said was part of Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc’s deliberate strategy to position and reinforce itself as a world class organisation and thought leader in the power industry.

The gold-sponsored event which was co-sponsored by the Nigeria Energy Conference is expected to enhanced networking with power, energy and metering solution companies had in attendance virtually all stakeholders in the power sector.

The Executive Governor of Kaduna State HE Nasiru El Rufai and other stakeholders like the Special Assistant to the president on infrastructure, Ahmad Rufai Zakari, the Honourable Minister of Power who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Temitope Fashedemi, the Commissioner, Legal, Licence and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye and Sani Usman, Chief Business Officer ( AEDC) amongst other dignitaries made remarks at the event.

Issues bordering on mini-grid solutions, regulatory measures for improving the Nigerian Energy mix, the state of electricity in Nigeria and the role of traditional utilities in ensuring affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

Speaking at the event, Usman explained the need for utilities to collaborate using modern technological solutions.

He noted that “traditional electric utility
Models across the globe are continuously facing policy shift and technological changes”. He added that there is a need to decentralize, decarbonize and digitalise electricity access thus the need to collaborate with the private sector to achieve this turnaround.

“AEDC reiterated its commitment to being at the forefront of beneficial collaboration in the best interest of its customers,” he said.

Speaking further, the Minister noted with dismay the estimated 733million people without access to electricity around the world, saying more than 10% of that population live in Nigeria.

“Traditional electric utilities around the world have over the years played significant role in addressing the energy access challenges. 

“However, ‘traditional’ electric utility models across the globe are continuously facing policy shifts and technological changes

“This is even exacerbated by the increasing emergence of decentralized energy actors following the need to provide affordable, reliable, and clean energy in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 7).

“As captains in our respective traditional utilities, we do not see this evolution as a threat,  rather, as huge opportunity to maximize value via various collaborations and initiatives we are currently driving.

“Statistics show that despite the decreasing cost of renewable energy technologies (e.g solar panels and batteries) over the years, the market entry cost to the average Nigerian is still high, considering the average energy burden and economic realities,”

Aliyu has therefore advocated partnerships between private developers of renewable energies with traditional utilities, insisting that it remain vital to guarantee affordability of clean and renewable energy projects.