Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL), a renewable energy subsidiary of the Oando Group, has said residents of Lagos State will have the opportunity to ride on an Electric-powered Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) by 2023.

Executive Vice President, Oando Clean Energy, Mr. Ademola Ogunbanjo, disclosed this during a webcast session hosted by EY Nigeria, on “Climate Change and Its Implications on the Nigerian Energy Sector.”

Apart from Ogunbanjo, other speakers at the panel include the Director, External Affairs and Sustainability, Seplat Energy, Dr Chioma Nwachukwu; Director General, National Council on Climate Change, Dr Salisu Dahiru and EY’s Specialist Africa Climate Change and Sustainability Advisory Practice, EY COVA, Mr. Duane Newman.

Ogunbanjo gave the update on Oando’s electric vehicles deployment in partnership with the Lagos State Government, stating that the future of energy was green.

Oando had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) for the introduction of electric mass transit buses in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.

“We, in Oando Clean Energy Limited, we are deploying that in partnership with the Lagos State Government. By this time next year, if you are in Lagos, you will be able to jump on a BRT bus that’s 100 per cent electric.

“We will run the proof of concept by January 2023. Then, we roll out fully before the year is over, and hopefully, overtime, as the cost of electric buses go down, we particularly want to begin to assemble or manufacture locally in Nigeria.

‘And good enough, if you look at the Net-zero Plan of the federal government, we are looking to start doing that by 2025. What this means is that our transport fares will go down because we are taking alternative route”, he stated.

Comparing combustion engine buses to the electric version, Ogunbanjo explained: “For example, for a diesel engine bus of 10.5 metres to go 1kilometer, you need 1.56 litres of diesel. At today’s prices, that’s about N1200.

“For an electric bus of the same size, it will take you 1.36 kilowatt/hour. At today’s rate, that’s less than N500. This is in the hope that overtime, as we deploy electric vehicles, the costs will go (further than).

He noted that storage was still a big component of providing renewable energy, particularly from variables like wind and solar.

Ogunbanjo argued that as technology is deployed and it improves and there is proliferation of the solutions, prices would drop and it becomes more affordable for the general populace to engage.

“So there is need for us to very quickly rapidly work together with the government to invest in the sector so that we can cushion some of the effects of the elements you mentioned,” he added.

Ogunbanjo, who earlier argued that whether prices of diesel and petrol were friendly or not when Nigeria finally removes petrol subsidy in 2023, stated that the opportunities in clean energy were clear.

He stated that even if fossil fuel was still being used to power energy consumption globally, there was room to accommodate renewable energy sources.

With Africa’s 600 million people out of its 1.3 billion having no energy access with Nigeria ranking the worst statistics, the Oando Clean Energy executive vice president said there was room for green energy to grow in the continent.

Contributing, Nwachukwu advocated that government should create an enabling business environment to encourage investors to invest in new energy projects, explaining that incentivising current and prospective investors would encourage them to adopt sustainable operational practices.

She said: “We should create an environment to stimulating investment. Because what we’re talking about is decarbonisation, it’s going to net zero, it costs a lot of money, it’s capital intense.

“So, investment, if you have to invest, you want to invest in an environmental that is friendly, that investors would like to come. So there must be an enabling environment created by government for people to want to invest in an environment.”

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