The Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated an Inter-ministerial Committee to device ways of conserving energy in public buildings in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the committee and Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr George Ossi, said the committee was in line with the renewed commitment ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.

Ossi said the initiative was aimed at providing access to sustainable energy efficiency in public buildings among ECOWAS member states.

He said that the regional body adopted its energy efficiency policy as well as the renewable energy policy to promote energy efficiency of building among ECOWAS member states.

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He said that member states, including Nigeria, have agreed to develop and adopt regional standards for both new and existing buildings.

“This is with a view to incorporate the principles of tropical architecture and urban planning standards.’’

Ossi said the mandate of the ministry made it imperative to be at the forefront of the advocacy and to be promoter of renewable Energy and Efficiency in buildings.

He said that Nigeria was faced with power and energy deficit that hinders social and economic development.

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The permanent secretary noted that 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the energy generated was estimated to be consumed by the housing sector alone.

He said the ministry was aware that energy efficiency in buildings was a major plank in addressing issues of climate change.

Ossi expressed the hope that improvement in energy efficiency in buildings would be the challenge while enhancing security.

Also, Mrs Esther Okougha, Chairperson of the ministerial committee and Director, Engineering Services in the ministry, said the committee underscored the importance of renewable energy.

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Okougha said her team in collaboration with GIZ, a German Agency for International Cooperation, had performed an energy audit in the ministry’s building which had reduced energy consumption.

She said the committee would collaborate with various stakeholders to come up with Building Efficiency Code.

The terms of reference of the committee are to generate and recommend minimum standard required to achieve energy efficiency in buildings.

The committee is also expected to make research and find out if there are policies on buildings energy efficiency among others.