The Honorable Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has called on the Private Sector to invest in the production of solar panels to solve the lingering power deficit in Nigeria.
Dr. Onu made the call while inaugurating an Inter Ministerial Committee on the Utilization of Renewable Energy in his office in Abuja at the weekend.
Dr. Onu said that one of the agencies of the Ministry, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, (NASENI) has started the production of solar panels at experimental level in Karshi, Abuja.
The Private Sector, he added, could reap maximum benefits by investing and partnering with NASENI.
Dr. Onu further said that the closeness of Nigeria to the Equator, gives us added advantage to utilize renewable energy maximally.
The production of Solar panels would create wealth, job opportunities and alleviate poverty, the Minister added.
In his words ‘’we are happy to make our own contribution in solving the energy problem that has been confronting our nation for a very long time. Power generation, transmission and distribution is critical to the attainment of rapid industrialization of the Country’’.
Dr. Onu further assured the Ministry will continue to intensify research on the Solar Panels in order to reduce its cost and make them affordable to all Nigerians.
‘’We want to bring to use the recent research of the Ministry to assist our dear nation to solve this lingering problems confronting us for so many years’’ he added.
The Ministry, he assured, is also working assiduously in the area of renewable energy to close the gap of electricity deficit in Nigeria, adding that” we need electricity to power our homes, businesses, laboratories, hospitals particularly in the rural areas’’.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu had said that, the Ministry in her drive to diversify electricity generation and mediate climate change in Nigeria is using renewable energy research and outputs of its agencies. The Ministry, he added, is also collaborating with Ministries of Environment, Power, Works and Housing, Trade and Investment, Water Resources and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
Mr. Nabasu further disclosed that the partnership will provide enabling environment for Robust Research and Development in Renewable energy technologies, to domesticate and produce requisite skills for electricity generation from multiple sources.
The committee he added, will work to ensure value addition to Nigeria’s local Raw Materials that can be used to generate electricity for accelerated socio- economic development, job creation and wealth generation.
The Committee is also expected to achieve the target of 20,000- 50,000 MW of electricity for rapid industrialization of Nigeria within the next four years based on Federal Government intervention strategy and support for locally grown Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
The Chairman of the Committee, and Director in charge of Environmental Science Technology in the Ministry Dr. Peter Ekweozor assured the Minister that his team will work with commitment to see to the actualization of the mandate of the committee.
Abdul Ganiyu Aminu
Head (Press and Publicity)