The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) says it received a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to produce more solar cells to boost the country’s alternative power sources.
Mohammed Haruna, chief executive officer, NASENI, disclosed this to journalists on Friday, after briefing with the president on the activities of the agency, in Abuja.
A solar cell, also known as a photovoltaic cell, is as an electrical device that converts light energy into electrical energy through the photovoltaic effect.
Haruna said the president also gave an order for the implementation of modular irrigation projects and the production of more farm implements to boost agricultural activities.
“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 in this quarter,” he said.
“Therefore, he has directed us to do more, particularly in the modular irrigation project that we are commencing from Adamawa state, the solar cells production and also agricultural implements.”
Speaking further, Haruna said 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,” he said.
“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 and 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.
“When that is done, solar power supply will be affordable because the most expensive component is the cells.”
Haruna also said a unit of the agency, the Nigerian Machine Tools, Osogbo, also produced protective wear 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,” he said.
“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.”
Haruna also revealed that the agency produces laboratory equipment for science students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the country.