Federal Government has announced that it would soon embark on provision of renewable energy to private homes, schools, hospitals, markets and petrol filling stations in a bid to tackle perennial power supply challenge confronting the nation.
Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, announced this in Abuja at a media briefing to unveil the activities of his ministry following his re-appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
To this end, Onu directed four agencies under his ministry namely the Energy Commission of Nigeria(ECN), Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute(NBRRI), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure(NASENI) and Project Development Institute(PRODA) to liaise and work in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Power, Ministries of Works and Housing, Environment, and Industry, Trade and investment , with the support of private sector, to kick-start the installation of solar panels in private homes, schools, hospitals, markets and other places to boost power supply.
He explained that this initiative would have positive impact on the populace, particularly in the rural areas, as it would improve their living conditions and boost their economic activities.
The minister vowed to intensify efforts in research and developmental work in the area of renewable energy, adding that smaller rivers in different parts of the country as well as wind energy would be explored to achieve the intended objectives.
According to him, “In line with President Buhari’s commitment to reduce carbon emission, we will intensify research and developmental work in the area of renewable energy.
“We will take advantage of our geographical location near the equator to explore solar energy. We will work to harness the hydropower potential of many of the smaller rivers in different parts of the country as well as wind energy.
“The FMST is poised to evolve new initiatives and involve everyone in the efforts to optimise costs of investments in renewable energy, encourage good environmental stewardship, improve public health, rural/urban power infrastructure, economic empowerment and growth through skills acquisition, job creation and energy efficiency.”
As part of his agenda setting, Onu further revealed that his ministry and some relevant agencies under the supervision of the ministry would give high premium on research on local medicinal herbs found in large quantities in Nigeria.