As part of its efforts towards transforming Nigeria’s power and energy sector, the Federal Government has laid the foundation for the establishment of the first solar cell production factory in West Africa.
The landmark achievement which places Nigeria among countries adopting alternative energy sources, will also transform Nigeria’s power and energy sector and boost the local economy.
This was stated on Friday by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, as he performed the foundation laying ceremony for the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) Solar Cells Production Plant in Gora, Nasarawa State.
Prof. Osinbajo stated that “this landmark achievement places Nigeria within the ranks of countries pushing the boundaries in the use of climate-smart alternative energy sources, particularly solar power. And as we have heard, this particular project is building on 10 years of work. 10years ago, NASENI established its 7.5mw solar panel production plant. Its capacity is now 21MW.”
Highlighting the importance of Solar cells to the entire solar energy value chain, the Vice President observed that “NASENI’s solar cell production factory in Nigeria will be a game-changer, given the urgency of climate action today and the importance of developing African green energy manufacturing and solutions.”
The VP, who linked the historic development with the Federal Government’s proactive steps in ensuring adequate funding for NASENI, stated that this is a new dispensation for the government agency.
With one per cent allocation from the federation account annually as prescribed by its founding law, Prof. Osinbajo was of the view that NASENI has been given the financial backing to “execute its mandate of delivering technological and innovative interventions across critical sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Health, Defence and Security, Power and Energy, Financial Services, Solid Minerals, Additive Manufacturing, Smart Fabrications, Factories, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and Virtual Manufacturing.”
He added that, “for over 10 years, NASENI has been consistent in championing solar power as an alternative to hydro and fossil power sourcing. And it was to this end that the agency established NASENI Solar Energy Limited (NSEL) in Karshi, Federal Capital Territory, with a mandate to deliver alternative solar energy to homes and businesses in Nigeria.
The development and maturity of the Naseni Solar Energy Ltd whose operations have been driven with the vim and zest of a tech start-up, forecasted an increase in local content of the solar energy production system in Nigeria, leading to ever-increasing production of solar cells.”
Pointing out that $50 billion worth of diesel fuel is used yearly, with diesel generators producing more energy than the entire energy grid in 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Prof. Osinbajo observed that “the resultant emissions of carbon monoxide has since become a major and worrying source of pollution. In Nigeria, for example, generator emissions are equivalent to emissions from all of the country’s 11 million cars put together.
Emphasizing that this method was clearly unsustainable and required a significant shift, the VP stated that this was the reason why Nigeria developed its Energy Transition Plan, the first in Africa.
According to him, the Plan, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council last year “sets out our pathway to decarbonization by 2060 and achieving universal energy access by 2030.”
“The Nigeria Energy Transition Plan projects an increase in the use of solar power in the Nigerian energy mix, surpassing even gas by 2035,” he added.
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