The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Professor Mohammed Sani Haruna has expressed the agency’s commitment to contribute 50 Megawatts of solar energy to Nigeria’s electricity by 2023.

Professor Haruna said this during the closing ceremony of a week-long NASENI Skill Acquisition Training and Youth Empowerment for 100 youths on solar installation and maintenance in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

The Chief Executive said the agency had already achieved about 21 Megawatts per annum with installed capacity through its NASENI Solar Energy Limited, a manufacturing plant located in Karshi, Abuja, owned by the Agency.

The NASENI chief further added that the plant would now double the capacity to move its production to 50 Megawatts to bridge the gap of over 80 per cent imported substandard solar products that has flooded the Nigerian markets.

He stressed on the need for training and retraining of technicians in the solar system electric power supply subsector, stressing that a competent workforce for Nigeria was a must for self reliance and industrial development.

“Technicians must be trained and retrained for knowledge update. Failure to acquire skill and training for solar electricity supply is the root cause of most failed solar installations across the country. This is frustrating and discouraging to customers, some consumers are already contemplating that solar system is a myth instead of a reality” said Professor Haruna.

Earlier, the Chairman Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Uche Ekwunife said the gains of the training could not be overemphasized as the country was trying to find alternatives to energy and solar was one of them.

“I believe that if the trainees paid attention to what they were taught, it will give them an opportunity to be self reliant and to train others,” she said.

The lawmaker, who was the chairperson of the occasion, thanked NASENI on behalf of the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation, saying that empowering youths was important for a rapid industrialization.

RN