By John Ofikhenua
Nigeria has joined Egypt and South Africa as the third African nation to produce its solar panels for electricity purposes locally. The Science and Technology Minister, Professor Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, announced this yesterday when he led a delegation in a consultation visit to the Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji.
Head Media and Public Relations, Mrs Greyne Anosike made this known in a statement yesterday. The Minister said that the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has successfully produced solar panels of international standard, which would now bridge the quantum of foreign exchange being spent on importing panels from Asia and Europe annually.
With that, Nigeria joins Egypt and South Africa as the only African nations with the technological capacity to mass produce solar panels. Prof. Ewa, who was accompanied by his Permanent Secretary, Dr. Dare Awosika and the Director General – NASENI, Prof. O. Adewuye, said they came to show solidarity with the efforts of the Power Minister to translate Nigerian dream into reality and to seek various areas of collaboration in defining ways in which science and engineering could impact and drive the rural development.
He said Science and Technology Ministry believes that because of the difficult terrain in some parts of the country, clusters of electricity generating units as dams, wind and solar would be the best option forward and confirmed that his Ministry had done all studies relating to them and would invite the Power Minister to come and see them soon.
The Minister said “on wind energy, we have produced wind map for the country, which tells us where we have the strongest wind velocity for power generation”. Ewa said his team was also in the Ministry to further solicit good partnership to drive the solar panel technology in Karchi, Abuja forward.