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EU-UNIDO Launch €9M Project: Advancing Hydropower and Circular Economy in Nigeria

The European Union introduced two new projects in Nigeria: Small Hydro Power Development for Agro-industry Use (SHP-DAIN) and Advancing Nigeria’s Green Transition to Net Zero through Circular Economy Practices. Both will be executed by the United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) as part of a 9 million euro contract over three years, aimed at promoting small hydropower development and circular economy approaches.

Adenayo Adelabo, Nigerian Minister of Power, officially launched the projects and inaugurated their steering committees. The event included diverse stakeholders, such as Ministry officials and State representatives. UNIDO oversees the implementation of this fully funded European Union project under the EU’s Multilateral Indicative Programme 2021-2027 and other EU-Nigeria Cooperation initiatives. 

Acknowledging the support of UNIDO and the EU, Adelabo noted “Nigeria’s abundant energy resources, will forever remain potentials unless properly harnessed, therefore, the federal ministry of power is delighted to continually work with the EU and UNIDO on small hydropower in powering energy through decentralized systems”.

In his opening speech, Massimo De Luca, EU Head Cooperation, acknowledged the longstanding cooperation between the EU and the Nigerian government. He stressed that “Nigeria’s green transition will remain at the heart of our cooperation with Nigeria, as one of the key areas of the EU Global Gateway Strategy for sustainable and trusted connections that work for people and the planet”.

The projects aims to enhance energy accessibility and promote circular economy practices to address pollution and climate change in Nigeria. It comprises two subprojects. First, Small Hydro Power Development for Agro-industry Use in Nigeria (SHP-DAIN). This subproject aims to boost small hydropower capacity in the energy mix, increase agricultural productivity, and improve livelihoods, thereby enhancing food security and job opportunities. Second, Advancing Nigeria’s Green Transition to Net Zero through Circular Economy Practices. This subproject aims to enhance the management of used off-grid energy equipment and plastics through circular economy practices to mitigate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Multiple stakeholders are involved in the project including the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment, Industry, Trade and Investment, Power and Water Resources, as well as federal-level agencies, commissions, and banks. Selected State Governments will also be involved in relevant project activities.

Nigerian Minister for Environment Balarabe Abbas Lawal voiced his  appreciation to UNIDO and the EU for their strong collaborative support. In his keynote he mentioned that “the Ministry of Environment stands ready to support critical initiatives such as electronic wastes, and management of mini-grids systems components which are niche markets requiring regulation” .

The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mohamed Malick Fall expressed confidence that the projects would not only enhance the management of used off-grid energy equipment and plastics but also increase agricultural productivity and improve livelihoods, he stated that “it’s been very remarkable supporting the multiple impactful projects of UNIDO. The UN in Nigeria and people of Nigeria have a strong partner in UNIDO, these new initiatives are a definition of exactly that”.

Additionally, a wide range of associations represented will play key roles in the project including the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the E-waste Producers Responsibility Organization of Nigeria (EPRON), the Alliance for Responsible Battery Recyclers (ARBR), the Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA), the Waste Management Association of Nigeria (WAMASON), the Recyclers Association of Nigeria (RAN), the Association of Waste Recyclers and Collectors of Nigeria (AWARECON), the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of Nigeria (REDIN), the Waste Pickers Association of Nigeria (WPAN), the National Association of Scrap and Waste Workers of Nigeria (NASWON), and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

At the end of the launch ceremony, the first Project Steering Committees (PSC) for both projects were held, followed by technical sessions led by the project managers.

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