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US charges FG over poor electricity supply, oil spills

US Ambassador Entwistie cropped_1_510x350

The United States (US) has expressed worry over poor electricity supply in the country.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James F. Entwistle, who made the remark, when he delivered a keynote address at an Earth Day Programme organised by the embassy in collaboration with the Hubert H. Humphrey Alumni Association in Abuja, also lamented over the waves of oil spills in Ogoniland.

Entwistle, who noted that electricity disruption in the country has adversely affected nearly all businesses, said the situation is detrimental to manufacturing companies.

His words: “One area of ongoing concern is Nigeria’s power utility system.  We are all frustrated by the sporadic power outages that negatively affect both our personal and professional lives.  These disruptions affect nearly all businesses, but are most detrimental to manufacturing companies.

“Many Nigerian businesses and households are not lucky enough to have climate-friendly power backup systems, relying instead on inefficient diesel generators.  Those generators are now estimated to form the largest block of Nigeria’s CO2 emissions.”

The envoy advised that establishing a reliable, environmentally friendly electrical grid should remain a top Nigerian government’s priority.

“This is also an issue President Obama is working to address through his Power Africa Initiative.  Power Africa aims to bring power to 20 million people on this continent, through partnerships with governments and private industry,” he said.

Entwistle said another matter of great concern is oil spills in Ogoniland, pointing out that “as one of the world’s leading crude producers, Nigeria has a special responsibility to insure that throughout the extraction, refining, and delivery processes, the integrity of the product is preserved.”

“We noted with optimism the creation and recent re-commitment of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), and hope that it will come forward with a more effective clean-up effort,” he added.

He restated the commitment of the US to work with Nigeria in protecting the environment.

“One of the areas in which we can and must work together is protecting the environment—the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land that supports and sustains us.  Environmental challenges like climate change, over fishing, increasing acidity of our oceans, air pollution—none of these challenges respect international borders.  They injure us all.  None of us are disconnected from these impacts, and the environment writ large is at great, great risk today,” Mr Entwistle said.

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