The Federal Ministry of Environment in partnership with the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves organized a one-day Clean Cooking Forum on Monday 28 November 2016 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. The forum brought together over 150 participants including key policymakers, private sector leaders, development partners and civil society stakeholders to reposition Nigeria’s strategy for clean cooking – achieving clean cooking energy for all Nigerians.
In Nigeria, over 20 million households and about 122 million Nigerians depend primarily on wood as a source of fuel for cooking. This is despite the abundance of modern cooking energy sources including natural gas. This traditional cooking method is expensive, has negative impact on health and contributes to deforestation. In North East Nigeria, IDPs are facing severe challenges in meeting their basic needs including access to cooking energy and fuels. Fetching of firewood around camps and host communities often lead to conflict and increases the chance of gender-based violence against women.
In her opening remarks, the Honourable Minister for Environment, Amina Mohammed reiterated the growing challenge of climate change and noted that IDPs and refugees suffer the most energy poverty in Nigeria. Therefore, providing access to energy for them will be a key element that will facilitate their return home. The President of the Senate in his keynote address further pledged the willingness and readiness of the National Assembly to support and pass laws that will promote clean cooking in the country which is in line with the “Made in Nigeria” campaign.
Key resolutions at the forum are: Launch a behavioural change/awareness campaign for clean and efficient cookstoves in the country; set up training centres for local production of efficient biomass cookstoves in each geopolitical zone; encourage clean cooking in government-owned facilities like prisons, government boarding secondary schools, IDP camps etc; establish gas refill stations in all senatorial districts; reduce import duty on clean cookstoves parts to make it more affordable and exempt VAT for LPG among others.
Among other important government and business leaders present at the forum include, Senator Remi Tinubu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Climate Change, Senator Philip Aduda, Senate Minority Whip, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, Minister of State for Environment, Mohammed Sani Sidi, Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, H.E Paul Arkwright, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mariam Uwais, Special Adviser to the President on Social Protection, Ms. Brenda Ataga, Special Adviser to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ms Brigitte Mukanga-Eno, Deputy Representative (Protection), United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Nigeria, David Martins, General Manager, Production, Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, Igo Weli, General Manager External Relations,Honourable Sadiq Ibrahim and Honourable Sam Onuigbo, Chairman, House committee on Climate Change.