The Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON, and other renewable energy experts have called on the Federal Government to ensure quality control of solar solutions imported into the Nigerian market.
The call was made at the Gennex Colloquium 2022 held in Lagos on Tuesday.
Marketing and Technical Officer, SON, Adewunmi Richard, while fielding questions from the audience, told the gathering that the Federal Government needed to take decisive steps towards ensuring that imported solar solutions met the required quality
“From the way things are currently being done in Nigeria, if care is not taken, people will begin to develop apathy for solar systems because of lack of quality control. Infiltration of fake products makes solar energy solutions appear like a failure, and the government needs to take concrete steps to ensure quality control,” he said.
Richard added that product seizure was not the solution to the menace.
He advised that standard institutions must be empowered to provide awareness, enact code of practices, ensure quality control, and organise certification programmes for operators, investors, and the masses alike.
Head, Solar Energy, Sterling Bank, Seyi Okunuga, while delivering talks on one of the sessions ‘Proper Designing and Sizing of Solar Solutions for Commercial and Residential Customers’, said that solar solutions were expensive in Nigeria due to rising foreign exchange rates, which according to him, affected prices of solar panels and products being imported into the country.
He advised the Federal Government to look inwards and give support to indigenous energy firms capable of producing solar panels in-country. This, according to him, would go a long way in increasing youth employment and boosting the country’s dwindling economy.
While delivering her address of welcome, Executive Director, Gennex Technologies and organisers of the event, Toyin Ilo, said the renewable energy sector had made tremendous progress over the last several years, from opening up the sector to Foreign Direct Investment to standardisation.
“Despite this giant stride, challenges still abound. One of the major challenges confronting our sectors is how to properly size and design solar solutions to make them more cost-effective and at the same time durable. At Gennex, we have blazed the trail by coming up with innovative approaches to tackling this problem, but the situation in the entire industry is not helped by the proliferation of inexperienced and unqualified ‘solar installers’ who advise commercial, industrial and even residential customers on solutions design and sizing, and choice of inputs.”
She advised the government, industry leaders, experts, policy actors, leading energy companies, financial institutions, civil society, as well as end users to discuss and find lasting solutions to these challenges confronting the sector.