1.I am delighted to be invited as the Special Guest of Honour at this year’s Nigeria Clean Cooking Forum. Some of you will already know that I have been deeply involved, over the years, in advocating for cleaner forms of cooking for Nigerians and Africans as a whole. So, I am indeed happy to be given this opportunity to be a keynote Speaker at this event, for a cause that is very close to my heart.

2.Findings show that Nigerians consume between 1.9kg to 4kg/day/capita of firewood, depending on household size. When applied to the country’s population, currently pegged at about 170 million, we glean that the country consumes more than 500 million kilogrammes of firewood daily. This is indeed enormous, more than our forests can bear or sustain. Indoor air pollution, black carbon emission, tree felling and other associated livelihood trade-offs from the use of traditional cooking methods, are issues that affect urban and rural populations alike, particularly the demographics of women and children.

3.There are over 4 million deaths globally, every year, due to household air pollution; and 24% of global black carbon emissions come from cooking smoke. In Nigeria, household air pollution is the third most significant risk factor to health after Malaria and HIV, killing almost 65,000 people annually – more than half of whom are children. This form of biomass energy use for cooking, no doubt, justifies the development of a sustainable clean cook stove programme in Nigeria.

4.A new study by scientists at the University of Chicago – tracking the cooking practices of 324 pregnant women in Nigeria – found that shifting from a cookstove that burns wood fuel to one that uses a cleaner-burning fuel such as ethanol, may reduce cardiovascular health risks in pregnant women. An ongoing study of a clean cookstoves initiative in Kwara State, is investigating the carbon emission reduction potential of the use of improved cookstoves – given the assumption that the use of wood fuels increases the pressures on local natural resources and may contribute to climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases from forest degradation, as communities extract wood faster than forests can regenerate.

5.Therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, the evidence is clear. We must rise to the occasion and solve this problem now, because – quite simply – cooking shouldn’t kill. No one should die from a basic, life-sustaining act as mundane as cooking. As a nation, there is a need to scale up our activities and actions aimed at ensuring the increased usage of clean energy by households throughout the country. It is a fact that apart from saving lives, the use of clean cook stoves would also help create jobs for our people, if a ‘Made-In-Nigeria’ strategy is pursued to the letter. Therefore, the clean cooking energy for all in Nigeria should indeed reposition a common cause.

6.My appointment into the leadership council of the Global Alliance for Clean cookstoves, in 2012, inspired me to continue to advocate in favour of healthy cooking lifestyles in Africa, particularly Nigeria. This, to me, is the simplest and most basic dividend of democracy government should provide for her citizens. Providing an enabling environment for a thriving market for clean cookstoves is arguably the best strategy for us to reach the last mile in adopting clean cookstove technology and fuels. In view of this, I believe that it is important for us to have a collective plan that we all own and that holds us accountable and committed to playing our various roles in making it work.

7.As a government that puts people first, there are three things we need to do, towards improving the use of clean energy in the country. First, the adoption of clean energy needs to be supported by relevant legislation, to enhance demand, strengthen supply and avoid past mistakes while applying lessons learned, to leverage on new international support to step up our advocacy work. Secondly, we should work together to address the key barriers such as affordability, quality of cook stoves, consumer education, access to finance, policy regulation and sustainable supply of clean cooking fuel. Thirdly, we need to build a solid system that thrives on partnerships within and outside the country to enable the free flow of resources and innovation into the sector.

8.It is our sacred duty as a government to lessen this burden on our women and children, who are often the most affected. Therefore the clean cooking for all initiative is necessary for the provision of quality health for women and the environment, as it will also help address some of the issues we have at our IDP camps in the North East of Nigeria, as well as achieve global gender equality goals and targets, to provide significant opportunities for women empowerment.

9.The 8th Senate is aware that the traditional cooking method is expensive, burning up to 90% more wood than is necessary and costing poor families money that could be put to better use on education, healthcare and feeding. Let me use this opportunity, Ladies and Gentlemen to assure you that the 8th Senate will continue to support, cooperate and work with the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, to address problems being experienced by stakeholders in the sector. As representatives of the people, we are keen to ensure that relevant support and legislation are initiated as necessary and passed to support the sector to every extent possible. This is because I believe that women and children not only need to stay healthy, but to also be able to contribute positively to their family and national economy through sustainable clean cook stove entrepreneurship ventures.

10.For those small and medium scale cookstoves manufacturers – and gas cylinder manufacturers – we will create laws and influence policies that can provide a supply chain and strong value chain of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), efficient stoves, and other cooking fuels and instruments, in line with our ‘Made-In-Nigeria’ campaign.

11.On our part in the Legislature, the 8th Senate will pass necessary legislation to improve the enabling environment for widespread adoption of clean cookstoves in Nigeria. We call on the Executive arm of government to work across sectors to develop a lasting solution to cooking energy poverty. Ongoing initiatives or projects should be completed – and completed ones should be commissioned for the benefit of the women and girls who are largely affected by poisonous smoke from traditional cookstoves.

12.Following the visit of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to my office exactly one year ago, we agreed to work with the Senate Committees on Environment; Industry; and Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, to determine the scope of legislation necessary to support their work. This partnership should be reignited to develop a policy or legal framework for clean cooking in Nigeria by 2030 in line with the global goals.

13.Accordingly, the 8th Senate commits to using legislative instruments to continue to support the clean cookstoves sector in Nigeria. We will continue to play our role in ensuring that SMEs are able to access financing to manufacture made in Nigeria cookstoves. I encourage us to continue to work together, because it is only by so doing that we can collectively achieve notable success. We will not succeed on this project unless we support one another and focus on what we need to achieve together.

14.Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to thank you once again for your tireless contributions and painstaking commitment towards this project. It is proof that we are heading for success. The greatest accomplishment of a government to its citizens is to do the greatest possible good. I wish you successful deliberations.

Thank you and God bless.


Abubakar Bukola Saraki MBBS CON (pronunciationⓘ; born on 19 December 1962) is a Nigerian politician who served as the 13th president of the Nigerian Senate from 2015 to 2019.[1][2] He previously served as the governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011; and was elected to the Senate in 2011, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District, and then re-elected in the 2015 general elections