The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), have contributed to the nation’s power infrastructure by lending a supportive hand in aspects of renewable energy in Nigeria. Engr. Jafaru Mahmud, the AG and Managing Director NASENI Solar Energy who was at the Future Energy Nigeria gave an update of their achievements especially in renewable energy in an interview with our correspondent.
How has the current administration of NASENI intervened in the nation’s energy sector?
The current administration of NASENI is very passionate about energy both conventional and renewable. NASENI from inception has always been the outlet through which the government expresses its activities in technological development not only in the area of energy. But in the area of intervention in the energy sector, NASENI has the NASENI Energy Limited that is into the renewable energy resource. It’s also into production and assembly of Solar PVs, training installation, consultancy, load editing, load survey and energy management.
Also in the area of hydro, NASENI has a national project on small hydropower that is also to intervene in that area. They are also other efforts in areas as the biomass, the wind energy. But the most prominent at the moment is solar energy.
The areas of Nanotechnology and Reverse Engineering has been highlighted as areas been improved on by NASENI, how have they been able to achieve these?
Reverse engineering involves getting equipment and reproducing. The second stage of reverse engineering is that you adapt, the third stage is that you use original equipment. As far as reverse energy is concerned we have built wind turbines, water turbines and we also have some of the equipment that we use for solar energy we are reversing them. Gradually we are trying to build the indigenous expertise who would be able to build equipment so that we will become an individual equipment manufacturer in the area of solar energy
You made mention of NASENI been the first solar assembling company in Nigeria, how true is this?
Yes, we are the first. Arguably, it is the first government solar owned outfit that still exists. In West Africa Sub-region, NASENI is the first solar company.
How is NASENI encouraging technological development and innovative culture in the education sector
When I was making my presentation, I mentioned that we even go as low as the secondary schools. This we call “Solar in schools outreach program” we reach out to generate interest of students. Upon our visits, we are open to questions and all inquiries about solar energy, which we appropriately brief them.
Also, I hold two patents in solar energy. I am a researcher and have presented papers and journals in reputable journals and conferences. As we speak, we have submitted two papers for another conference all under solar energy. From academics to tutoring and mentoring from training, we have active social media platforms for some of these people who are interested in Solar Energy and other our tutoring. We also encourage others who have outfits and academia.
Sir, of all power off-grid solutions why solar energy?
This is because solar energy is the easiest to deplore. If you give me money today I can give you light immediately with solar energy. Although after installation we advise you to allow the batteries to charge fully. You can’t do that with wind or hydro, you need a preparation, procurement process installation and other things in place. But with solar energy, you can do that with a flip of the fingers. That is why you see our emphasis there. Nigeria has become so vulnerable with aspects to energy. If you take this piece of paper and tell Nigerians it is going to give light they are likely to believe you. Because they have tried so many other things and it is not working but solar energy works here and because it does we must emphasize it. It is the low line hanging fruit. If you see a mango hanging low you will first pick it up before going for the ones on-top. There are many energy sources, but Solar Power can be deplored to solve our problems from the tomato grinder, the SME’s, MSME(small and medium scale enterprises) and other forms of businesses.