Nigeria is set to start producing solar cells locally, as the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) prepares to break ground on a new solar cell production plant in Gora, Nasarawa State.
The facility will be one of the largest of its kind in Africa and will enable Nigeria to produce solar panels made from 100 per cent local content, a statement from the agency’s chief information officer, Chinyere Obiorah said.
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed NASENI to boost the country’s alternative power generation by producing solar cells, fulfilling one of his administration’s promises to provide employment for Nigeria’s youth and boost economic diversification.
NASENI is already collaborating with the China Great Wall Industries Corporation on three key power sector projects, including electric power transformer production, solar cell manufacturing and high voltage testing laboratories.
Speaking at the site, the representative of the NASENI executive vice chairman, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, Mrs. Nonyem Onyechi, said that the ground-breaking ceremony for the solar cell plant would soon take place. With the establishment of the plant, Nigeria will have an affordable alternative source of power generation, he disclosed.
Onyechi, who is NASENI’s coordinating director of the planning and business development (PBD) directorate, however, advised the contractor to ensure that everything required for the ground-breaking was in place before the committee visited the site.
The director of procurement, Dr. Mohammed Mohammed, also spoke at the event and stated that all challenges facing the progress of the work, as stated by the contractor, would be addressed. He advised the contractor to ensure that all pending negotiations regarding the site were settled as soon as possible.
During a visit to Keffi, the committee inspected the progress made on the skill acquisition centre and commended the work done. They agreed that the technical subcommittee should take over the work and ensure that everything required for the commissioning of the centre was put in place. Additionally, they were asked to take over the Solar Cell Plant in Gora and the ASIP Kaduna to ensure that all technical hitches were taken care of.
The production of solar cells is crucial for the development of solar panels and the wider use of solar energy.
The NASENI plant will play a key role in Nigeria’s transition to sustainable energy and its goal of providing access to electricity to all citizens.