The Minister of Environment, Laurentia Mallam has said that the ministry is planning to phase out the use of candlesand kerosene lamps across the country in the next twelve months, replacing them same with clean solarenergy lamps that are more environmentally and ozone friendly.
The Minister, who made there marks recently in Abuja when she received a senior delegation of the Total Group in her office led by its Vice President, Allen Schapeaux explained that the phase out will not come by way of legislation, but through the introduction of a superior product.
Laurentia Mallam added that she is deeply concerned about the environmental hazards caused by the use of candles and kerosene lanterns, which sometimes lead to deaths that could be avoided. She also explained that the switch over from the use of candles andkerosene lanterns will crash the price of kerosene and possibly eliminate theuse of candles in Nigeria,thereby improving on the position of the country on the list of ozone friendly nations in line with the Transformation Agenda of the President.
The Minister also promised astrong collaboration between the Ministry of Environment and Total Group toensure that the new solar energy lamp technology which Total is introducing into Nigeria is rapidly distributed at affordable price to the rural poor. She noted that apart from theenvironmental benefits of the product, it will go a long way in solving somesocial, financial and economic challenges associated with the use of keroseneand candles. She espoused the determination to bestow on Nigerians, the legacyof a candle – free Nigeria.
While commending Total Group forits efforts at manufacturing a durable, cost friendly, smoke-free, clean andrenewable energy lamp that will replace the candle and significantly reduce theuse of kerosene in the country, She promised to work with her counterparts inthe Ministries of Trade and Investment, Finance, Health as well as Education toensure that the Clean Energy Lamp Project is a huge success in Nigeria.
Speaking earlier at the occasion,the leader of the delegation, who is the Vice President of Total Group, AllenSchapeaux told the Minister that Total intends to start the sale of the cleanenergy solar lamps in Nigeriafor twelve months and thereafter, establish a plant for its production in thecountry for the entire West African Sub-Region.
Allen Schapeaux congratulated the Minister on her appointment and expressed optimism that the Minister of Environment is in the best position to promote the campaign for clean energy,adding that the solar lamps offer a credible solution to clean and renewable energy which is favourable to the global requirements for positive actions against climate change. ‘The solar energy lamp, according to him has successfully been introduced in Kenya, Indonesia and Pakistan.’