5th August, 2022
By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to produce more solar cells to boost the alternative power sources in the country.
This is disclosed by Professor Mohammed Haruna, the NASENI CEO, on Friday, after briefing the president in Abuja.
According to Haruna, the president also directed the implementation of modular irrigation projects and the production of more farm implements, to boost agricultural activities.
He said: “The President is impressed that NASENI is delivering on its mandate. I gave him the usual quarterly briefing, and he is happy with what we have done this quarter.
“Therefore, he has directed us to do more, particularly in the modular irrigation project that we are commencing from Adamawa State, the production of the solar cells, and also agricultural implements. ”
The NASENI boss informed newsmen that the agency has been able to impact the power sector, leading to the establishment of a factory in Karshi, Abuja.
According to him, the factory has the capacity to produce 7.5 megawatts of solar energy.
“Through our research and development activities in solar, it is so successful that through local innovations we now have a factory, 7.5-megawatt capacity Limited Liability Company.
“The company is 100 percent owned by the government in Karshi-Abuja, producing solar modules of the highest quality.
“These modules are installed in many places, we have dealers who buy these and distribute them. Also, we participate in installations in private and government buildings.
“7.5 megawatts cannot meet the needs of the nation and that is not making the price of solar power affordable because the cells used are imported.
“Solar cells are products of silicon and silicon is obtained from silica, which is nothing other than the sand that we have abandoned,’’ he said.
He said this informed the president’s approval for the Agency to obtain the facility from China in order to achieve 100 percent made-in-Nigeria products.
“When that is done, the solar power supply will be affordable because the most expensive component is the cells,” he said.
The NASENI boss disclosed that a unit of the agency, the Nigerian Machine Tools Osogbo in Osun State also produced protective wares for security men.
According to him, the company is also in the process of assembling Armoured Personnel carriers, in collaboration with Azerbaijan and Indonesia.
“The Nigerian Machine Tools Osogbo has been doing a lot in the production of protective wares; anti-ballistic helmets, and other bulletproof vests and boots among others.
“With NASENI’s collaboration with Indonesia and Azerbaijan, we have trained people on how to assemble Armoured Personnel carriers as well as produce certain components of the carrier,” he said.
Haruna also revealed that the agency produces laboratory equipment for science students in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions across the country.