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Ayo Ademilua emerges new president of Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria

ayo ade

Ayo Ademilua has emerged as the new president of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, after new elections were held for the executive committee on September 28, in Lagos.  

He is a member of the sustainability committee of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), consulting on matters relating to renewable energy (RE) generation and low carbon emission. 

According to the REAN, Ademilua brings his astute business analysis and leadership skills to the position. The association also said Ademilua acquired requisite skills for renewable energy business from training and conferences locally and internationally.  

REAN also says Ademilua is a bridge builder with excellent business and people management skills and hopes to foster synergy amongst members and stakeholders in the renewable energy space.  

Ayo Ademilua holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in finance and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He is also an alumnus of Lagos Business School, OXFAM Business Development Program, Stanford Business School: SEED Transformation Program, and a board member at Africa Mini-grid Developers Association. 

He takes over from the outgoing president, Dr. Segun Adaju. 

 

Gaps to fill 

Ademilua’s emergence as president of REAN does not just mean assuming a position for the sake of having one. This is a huge responsibility that must be reflected in constant alertness and willingness to take action that will lead to measurable success in the sector. 

Ademilua has to come up with strategies to promote renewable energy use in Nigeria. He will have no choice but to set a solid foundation for increasing renewable energy participation in the energy mix to up to 40% by 2030. Is he ready for that?  

The position of the president of the recognized association responsible for pushing renewable energy to the fore in Nigeria has a lot to do with advocating for increased private sector financing of RE projects across the country, so as to reach unserved communities.  

Does he have the links to facilitate commitments from corporate organizations that will invest in the renewable energy sector? If he does have the links, will he be able to rise above any shortcomings and sustain those important business relationships? Will the Nigerian factor come into play when it is time to advocate for increased women and youth participation in Nigeria’s renewable energy sector? 

As REAN president, Ademilua will need to work closely with the government and civil society to achieve set goals. In a few months, Nigeria will welcome a new government administration that may want to do things differently from the Buhari administration’s. We have seen from past administrations when a new set of leaders comes in, they hardly follow through on policies of the last administration. 

What happens to the Energy Transition Plan (ETP) and other renewable energy-focused policies developed by the Buhari administration, if the next administration decides not to follow through with it? Does Ademilua, in his new position as REAN president, have a contingency plan to work with the new administration and the private sector, to deepen renewable energy penetration in Nigeria? 

Knowing that Nigeria is a country that is currently facing a number of issues like insecurity, and the inability to unify energy policies, how will REAN under the leadership of Ademilua convince local and foreign investors to invest in Nigeria’s renewable energy sector?  

There are currently a lot of clean energy investors in Nigeria, but what are the plans to keep them here, regardless of a change in government? Also, what are the plans to facilitate the commitment of new investors?  

There are indeed many unserved communities that are deemed safe from terror activities. However, some of these communities may not be attractive to investors. What will REAN under Ademilua’s leadership do in this situation? 

There are also communities that have yet to access electricity supply for decades. A September 2022 investigation done by the Punch revealed that communities in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State have not had electricity for decades, despite intervention from development partners, which ended up failing.  

In this context, what solutions can an Ademilua-led REAN do to solve the problem? The ability to foster active collaboration between renewable energy stakeholders, development partners, and subsequent government administrations in order to achieve deeper RE penetration in Nigeria, goes beyond attendance of energy conferences.  

Will Ademilua be able to connect with a network of Nigerians that can offer local solutions to the electrification and clean cooking problems facing thousands of communities in Nigeria? Is he aware that despite many policies developed by present and past government administrations, Nigerian energy innovators have had little or no support to mass produce innovations for the country’s benefit?  

What are the strategies he has up his sleeves to get the government (present and incoming) to support mass production of energy technologies that will solve electrification and clean cooking challenges in communities?  

 

Possibility to industrialize renewable energy  

Despite growth in renewable energy technologies in Nigeria, it is not possible to industrialize using solely RE. The International Renewable Energy Agency has previously made it clear that African economies will need to explore natural gas in order to industrialize.  

According to the IEA, if all of Africa’s natural gas discoveries turned into production, that could provide an additional 90 bcm per year by 2030, around two-thirds for domestic needs, and the rest for export. 

As Ademilua assumes his position at REAN, is he willing to work with natural gas stakeholders to birth a country that relies on various sources of energy – natural gas, hydropower, renewable energy, geothermal, and wind? Or is he bent on pushing the narrative that renewable energy sources can help grow the industrialization age in Nigeria? 

 

What you should know  

  • REAN promotes the growth and development of the renewables industry in Nigeria by engaging with the public and private sectors to guide advocacy, policy formulation, and investment in the sector. 
  • Nigeria’s energy transition plan is projected to create 340,000 jobs by 2030 and up to 840,000 jobs by 2060, driven by the transportation, clean cooking, and power sectors.
     

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