The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has accused the Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) of frustrating the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy projects in Ghana, Uganda, Togo and Nigeria.
The executive Director of ERA, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo made the allegation while briefing the Media on Monday in Benin City, Edo State Capital.
Ojo spoke on the impacts of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) investments in fossils fuels in Nigeria, following surveys that were conducted by ERA and other Environmental rights group from Africa including Friends of Earth-Ghana, Abibiman, Environment Governance Institute-Uganda and Friends of Earth-Togo with the support of Milieudefensie/Friends of Earth-Neitherland and Both END.
He alleged that the conditionality tied to the repayment agreements to such loans or credit facilities from these independent private organizations – ECAs (lenders) for projects such as damns and hydropower projects in these developing Countries are injurious and punitive based on their research findings.
The executive Director, therefore, called on Countries of the World to dismantle ECAs from intervening in oil and gas sector projects in Africa, stating that the claim by the agencies to be supporting renewable energy transition in Africa, is double standard and have impoverished the African Continent with huge debt.
He lamented that out of the 80 billion dollars worth of ECAs investments in African Countries between 2013-2020, only 1 per cent was channeled to renewable energy in Nigeria, which is a far cry from the proviso of State Development Goal (SDG) 7 which emphasises the need to sustainable energy.
“To ensure improved clean energy access, there is the need for a post-petroleum economy devoid of oil and gas and embracing renewable energy sources to reduce carbon footprints and address Climate change impact.
According to him, “As far as we ate concerned, ECAs is playing a double standard role. They will tell you that they are supporting renewable energy transition in Africa whereas, reverse is the case”.
In a graphic presentation, Mr. Nosa Tokumbor, Legal Officer of ERA, an overview of the impacts of Export Credit Agencies’ (ECAs) on Fossil fuels and large Hydropower projects in Nigeria, he alleged that contrary to the much tainted potentials for job creation and other benefits that which the Nigerian government has tied to job, the Mambilla Hydropower project in Taraba State and Zungeru power plant in Niger State, Nigeria have become a conduit pipe between multinational and ECAs while several people have either been displaced or denied their means of livelihoods across the impacted Communities.
Tokumbor who also drew inspiration from a document titled, “A just Energy Transition for Africa” from some Environmental Rights groups in Nigeria including ERA, said, 85 per cent funding of the Mambilla power project by China Export and Import (EXIM) Bank with Nigerian government contributing 15 per cent, of the cost, lends credence to the servitude of some African nations to legendary ECAs influence.