An NGO, Women in Cleantech and Eco-Innovation Initiative (WCE) on Thursday said the local production of bio-fuel could reduce the level of fossil fuel importation into the country.
Grace-Ugounwa-Ogolo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the group said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to Ugounwa-Ogolo, Nigeria imports a lot of fuel which alternatively can be produced in Nigeria.
Bio-fuel is fuel derived from organic matter such as plants or indirectly from agricultural, commercial, domestic and industrial waste.
“If we embark on serious production of bio-fuel, it will ensure energy security in terms of foreign exchange.
“Presently, we are importing a lot of fuel into the country but with biofuel that will be minimised.
“Bio-fuel can benefit everybody just like you have the fossil fuel because bio-fuel has a value chain which everybody may like to go into in any of the areas,” she said.
The CEO, however, decried that lack of sensitisation had deterred Nigerians, especially women from exploring the sector.
She said that sensitisation was ongoing within relevant stakeholders to ensure that the country reaped the benefits of bio-fuel production.
“Presently, there are so many people that are interested in bio-fuel production, but the problem is awareness.
“We have the Bio-fuel Policy and Incentives Development in Nigeria and we have a committee to come up with the strategies for the implementation of bio-fuel in the country.
“Presently, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency is driving the process with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),” she said.
Ugounwa-Ogolo said that the committee was projecting the year 2020 to start major operations on biofuel production.
She observed that some people were already planting jatropha, sweet sorghum and getting the oil in small quantities for domestic use.
“If this awareness is not there, by the time many people get to know about it, so many are already ahead and women in particular will be disadvantaged.
“That is why it is important that women take a role in biofuel production because it is gender sensitive,” she said.
Ugounwa-Ogolo said that bio-fuel production would benefit women more, adding that they constituted the larger number of agricultural work force in the country.
NAN reports that Bio-fuel Policy and Incentive Development in Nigeria was formulated by NNPC in 2007 and is presently undergoing gazetting to ensure its implementation.