Energy Conference 2024 sets C/River on Trajectory of Sustainable Energy Development

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Emmanuel Etim writes from Calabar.

The Energy Cross River Conference 2024 held in Cross River State, Nigeria, has set the state on a new trajectory towards sustainable energy development. The two-day conference and exhibition featured plenary sessions and panel discussions on redefining the energy architecture of the state using sustainable fuels. The event was declared open by Governor Sen. Prince Bassey Edet Otu, who emphasized the state’s commitment to transforming the energy sector.

The Governor highlighted the state’s desire to attract investors in the sector, noting that Cross River State is blessed with diverse energy resources. He emphasized the state’s focus on transitioning from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources in line with global environmental trends.

The Commissioner for Power and Renewable Energy, Prince Eka Williams, discussed the state’s role in revolutionizing the energy sector. He stated that the Energy Cross River Conference 2024 aimed to create a platform for stakeholders to engage and network while discussing the redefinition of the state’s energy architecture using sustainable fuels.

Prince Williams further stated his commitment to drive a well conceived energy policy thrust with energy mix that will ensure the development of Cross River state in no distant time. He said with the passing and signing into law of the Electricity Act 2023 by the National Assembly, the state is set to pass and sign into law the Cross River State Electric Act 2024 in the second quarter of the year.

The Electricity Act 2023 guarantees the de-centralisation and de-monopolisation of Nigeria’s electricity generation, transmission, and distribution at the national level and authorizes states, companies, and individuals to generate, transmit and distribute electricity. The signing into law of the Cross River state Electricity Act 2024 will empower the state to start the process to maximize this opportunity.

This will include the creation of the Cross River State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the licensing of Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution companies, improvement of power infrastructure in the state as well as achieving a good energy mix, through sustainable fuels and renewable energy sources.

The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Michael Odere, highlighted the potential for investment in the energy sector in Cross River state. He emphasized the state’s commitment to becoming an investment destination of choice for local and foreign direct investors. Mr. Odere also mentioned efforts to improve the ease of doing business and offer incentives to investors.

One of the sponsors, Allegiance CNG Limited, presented Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative energy source in the state. In his presentation during the panel session, the Chief Executive Officer of the company Deji Afolabi highlighted CNG as a cleaner, cheaper, and sustainable energy alternative. The company plans to establish CNG mother and daughter stations across the state and retrofit vehicles to run on CNG.

Mr. Afolabi said in a pioneering effort to build local capacity and empower Cross Riverians, a strategic partnership with University of Cross River State is being forged. This collaboration aims to establish a specialized training program, equipping individuals with skills and expertise needed to retrofit vehicles with CNG kits. He assured all that the company will supply high quality CNG kits.

Fidelity Bank Plc, another sponsor, expressed its readiness to fund transactions in the energy sector in the state. Speaking, Pamela Shodipo, Executive Director, South highlighted the experience of the bank in funding the energy sector and their commitment to guiding investors to success.

The private sector organizing partner, Allstates Management Partnership Solutions, stated that the strategic objective of the conference and expo was to build synergy among stakeholders to grow the energy sector in Cross River State. They emphasized their connections in the sector and their dedication to achieving positive outcomes.

Participants at the Energy Cross River Conference 2024 praised the event, highlighting the information and opportunities it unveiled. They expressed their desire for the event to become an annual conference and expo in the state.