'It is time to be self dependent'





By Gideon Arinze
The need to begin to explore the rich Energy potentials in Africa and Nigeria in particular in order to curb the excessive dependence on foreign made products has become an all important issue.


This and many more formed the kernel of the discussion at the kick off of the maiden workshop organized by the National Centre for Energy Research and Development, (NCERD), the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in collaboration with the Institute of Energy and Climate research, Julich Germany.


Speaking on the workshop with the theme “ Exploring Africa’s renewable energy resources for sustainable development, the Director General, energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala said that Nigeria has continued to witness problems in the energy sector which has continued to affect development in the country.


According to him, the workshop will provide a confortable platform for development and create a spring board upon which the centre can leap forward and contribute meaningfully to Nigeria’s energy problems.


Speaking on the development at the NCERD, UNN, Bala said that it has become a centre of excellence in the areas of coal research, clean cook stove design and testing among others.


It is hoped that very soon, regular certificates training programs in renewable and alternative energy technologies will commence in this centre with specific interest in the fields of solar energy technologies and biomass.


Also speaking at the workshop, the Director, NCERD, UNN, Prof. Paulinus Ugwuoke said that the problem the country has is that most of the things that are used in the installation of electricity such as Solar panels and other energy related products are imported.


“Mostimes, we are unable to buy some of the products because their prizes are high.“We must therefore start thinking of assembling these products in this country in order to make their prizes affordable”


According to the director, the collaboration will go a long way in providing researchers including staff and students from both Nigeria and Germany the opportunity to share the research collaborations and impact on the productivity of the centre and further uplift its image to greater heights.


Earlier in his address, the vice chancellor of the University, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba said that the workshop will deepen the relationship between the two institutions and provide avenues for more sustainable collaborations in research and development activities In the future.


He advised the staff and students of the research centre to use the opportunity to tap the enormous knowledge from the experience of the visiting team.


The National Energy centre for Research and development, UNN was established to fast track the development of energy science and technology landscape for the efficient harnessing of the various energy sources in Nigeria and to collaborate with foreign research agencies to provide excellent university type research output.


The workshop also featured plenary sessions and presentations by the visiting team of researchers and other resource persons at the centre.
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