Yemisi Izuora, writes that the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are collaborating to foster the global uptake of Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) with specific intervention in Nigeria.
Since the mid-1990s, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have have entered into strong collaboration to foster the global uptake of Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP).
Under the joint flagship RECP Programme, sponsored primarily by the Government of Switzerland, UNIDO and UNEP have specifically responded to countries’ growing demand for help with the delivery of RECP services to industries by assisting organizations — especially small and medium-sized enterprises, governments, civil society, research institutions and related stakeholders in over 60 developing and transition economies.
In real terms, RECP entails the continuous application of preventive environmental strategies to processes, products and services in order to increase efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment.
RECP addresses the three sustainability dimensions individually and synergistically: and they include, heightened economic performance through improved productive use of resources, environmental protection by conserving resources and minimizing industry’s impact on the natural environment, and social enhancement by providing jobs and protecting the wellbeing of workers and local communities.
Oriental News Nigeria, reports that the programme keys into Nigeria’s Energy transition drive that seeks to expand gas infrastructure to create jobs and improve efficiency in the manufacturing sector.
Government is developing policy that will help the country maximize potentials inherent in the midstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
Essentially, the ongoing partnerships and collaborations to improve the country’s
Industrial Energy Performance (IEE) and Resource Efficient Cleaner Production (RECP) through Programmatic Approaches and the Promotion of Innovation in Clean Technology Solutions under the UNIDO initiative is aiming at building capacity of local industries and at the same time enhancing productivity.
The project is designed to specifically accelerate the adoption of industrial energy efficiency (IEE) and to improve enterprise environmental performance through the mainstreaming of ISO50001 compliant Energy Management Systems (EnMS) and Industrial Energy Systems Optimization (ESO); under the wider umbrella of Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) best practices and innovative approaches within selected small, medium and large scale industrial enterprises in Nigeria.
Our Correspondent reports that also, the Federal Government through the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), has agreed with key organisations in Africa to mobilise funds to accelerate green infrastructure projects in the continent.
The letter of intent for the capital mobilisation was signed by the African Development Bank, Africa50 and newly launched African Sovereign Investor Forum (ASIF), for green and climate resilient infrastructure projects across Africa.
The three entities will work together to galvanise financing and to drive the development of skills and expertise within the infrastructure sector.
The signing took place in Rabat, Morocco during an event to launch the Africa Sovereign Investors Forum. The newly formed platform will accelerate coordination to mobilise patient capital for the continent’s development.
The signatories are Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Agaciro Development Fund of Rwanda, Fonds Souverain de Djibouti, Fonds Gabonais d’ Investissements Stratégiques (FGIS), Fonds Souverain d’Investissements Stratégiques (FONSIS) of Senegal, Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA), Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF), Ithmar Capital Morocco and The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE).
Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobissé signed for his organisation; AfDB Vice-President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation, Solomon Quaynor, signed on behalf of the AfDB; and Ithmar Capital CEO Obaid Amrane, who will serve as the inaugural chair of ASIF, signed on the new initiative’s behalf.
Ebobissé said: “This is an important step to building strong collaboration between the right stakeholders to meet the substantial infrastructure financing needs of Africa. We must make key regional infrastructure projects attractive and bankable for both global and African private investors and today’s signing will go a long way to address the continent’s infrastructure deficit.
“It is therefore important that we leverage the strength of the African sovereign wealth funds on the continent, who manage significant domestic savings, to drive the growth of Africa’s economies through the development and successful implementation of strategic infrastructure.”
Quaynor said the AfDB’s partnership with ASIF and Africa50 would enable stronger collaborations on project development and co-financing, mobilisation of capital to fund resilient, green and sustainable infrastructure and identification of investment opportunities to promote Africa’s infrastructure and industrialisation.
“This is a key part of the Bank’s strategy to harness the estimated $2 trillion of assets under management from African institutional investors including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurance companies for the continent’s infrastructure and industrialisation,” he said.
Amrane explained that ASIF’s main objective is to accelerate the development of investment opportunities and to mobilise patient capital. “As sovereign investors, we see strong complementarities with African Development Bank and Africa50, especially that our visions are aligned with regard to project preparation and capital mobilisation. We are pleased today to formalise ASIF, AfDB and Africa50’s mutual desire to collaborate together, for we have a common objective to foster investment in climate resilient projects, among others, according to our respective mandate.”
The collaboration agreement will also seek to address the identification and preparation of projects, a critical successful factor in attracting financing into any projects.
The UNIDO, said under the ongoing collaboration would offer support to 75 industries in Nigeria to improve their abilities on Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) and Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE).
Under the programme the UNIDO would help them to reduce energy consumption, environmental degradation and resource depletion.
Country Representative and Regional Director, UNIDO Regional Office Hub, Mr. Jean Bakole, during the “GEF-UNIDO Industrial Energy Efficiency and Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production Capacity Building Workshop for Media Stakeholders,” said that UNIDO is at present implementing the Nigeria country programme, which has been approved to be transformed to a Programme for Country Partnership (PCP).
Bankole, speaking through UNIDO’s Environment Expert, Mr. Oluyomi O. Banjo, added that the programme, which has environment and energy as its two distinct programmes, would run from 2018 to 2022.
He said: “We hope to support not less than 75 industries across five sectors of food and beverages, wood and furniture, steel and metals, textile and garment and petrochemicals. We will develop the capacity of the organised private sector and develop not less than 300 Nigerian RECP-IEE experts.
“UNIDO has implemented IEE in over 18 countries around the world and has also implemented RECP in over 60 countries. This programme will create an opportunity to develop the IEE and RECP methodologies, human capacity building which will also see Nigerians being trained to a global standard as energy assessors and RECP experts.
“We are hoping that this will eventually lead to the creation of National Cleaner Production Centres in the country (Nigeria), which will also promote circular economy.”
Continuing, Bankole added, “This project was collectively developed and submitted by UNIDO on behalf of Nigeria in 2017 under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) 6 Programming Circle.
“It was approved for full project development in 2017 and subsequently approved for full project implementation in 2020. It may interest you to know that for the first time at UNIDO, we are having an integrated IEE and RECP in one project.
“In South Africa, UNIDO’s project on IEE was recently accorded the best project of the year by the Southern Africa Energy Efficiency Confederation. We look forward to replication records like this in Nigeria.”
Bakole further stated, “you may wish to know that the outcome of this project is targeted at industries to develop an expert base for Nigeria, which could be exported to other countries in Africa and beyond.
“This project will address to a good extent the questions on how industries can improve their efficiency, increase profitability, operate at international best standards, comply with regulations and maintain improved relationship with policy makers.”
He said that “a pilot financing RECP-IEE scheme will be executed through the Bank of Industry (BoI) of Nigeria and issue around ISO 50000 and 14001 will be executed through Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
The Chief Risk Officer of BoI, Mr. Ezekiel Oseni, noted that availability of energy is one of the major challenges facing manufacturers in Nigeria and hoped that the IEE will help to lower their cost of production, “and have positive multiplier effects across the value chain. It would also help in promoting cleaner environment in line with SDGs.”
On his part, Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, applauded the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNIDO for initiating the entire project that would support the solution of energy challenges in the country.
Ajayi-Kadir, who was represented by Director, Corporate Services Division of MAN, Mr. Ambrose Oruche, said that the GEF-UNIDO IEE and RECP project would provide a credible energy platform that Nigerian industries could explore to narrow the energy gap in the country.
He said: “Unfortunately, the Nigerian industrial sector has suffered very limited energy supply at exorbitant cost; notwithstanding the implications on competitiveness.”
The Representative of the IEE Working Group at the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Mr. Oluwayemi Fabiyi, said, during the workshop that it is important to note that Nigeria greatly needs to improve its energy efficiency, especially for the industries.
Fabiyi said: “Competitive/efficient use of obtainable energy not only makes power more available for consumption it also helps to minimise and avoid environmental pollution mitigate climate change and increase productivity.”
He said that the project was slated to commence in 2020 but due to COVID pandemic and restriction it fully commenced in mid-2021.
The Deputy Director and Group Head, Electrical Electronics of SON, Mr. Alewu Cherry Achema, who was represented by Mr. Timi Michael, charged stakeholders “to embrace these concepts so that policies and guidelines that encourage energy efficiency can be developed and implemented,” adding that “incentives are being planned towards encouraging many companies in Nigeria to buy into these initiatives.”