The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, on Friday said that the Federal Government had taken steps to reduce power consumption by households, businesses and government by 85 per cent.
He told our correspondent, in Lagos, that the idea behind cutting power consumption had to do with the need to diversify the Nigerian economy, “which relies on oil as the major source of foreign exchange earnings.”
The minister said, “The current administration is bent on leveraging Information and Communications Technology and Science and Technology as an enabler of economic development and to diversify the economy.”
Onu said that the government was already working with the country’s indigenous technology company, Omatek Ventures Plc, to achieve its target.
He said that in choosing Omatek as a partner in the project, the government took into consideration the need to empower indigenous technological companies and encourage the growth of science and technology in the country.
“No nation has ever succeeded by not looking inward. Every great nation has looked inward to patronise its locally developed technological innovations and other products and as such, Nigeria is looking towards that direction as well towards encouraging patronage of locally developed products. The earlier we do this, the better for us,” he said.
He added, “No nation has ever been truly great in the world without science and technology. Nigeria should aspire to be a truly great nation in technology in the world. What is lacking is that over the years, Nigeria has not paid adequate attention to technology.”
He, however, identified lack of funding and effective coordination as the bane of technological development in Nigeria, saying that the current administration was keen on ensuring that it deepened research and development that would unlock the nation’s economic prosperity through effective partnership with indigenous players in the S&T industry.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of Omatek Ventures Plc, Mrs. Florence Seriki, said that while power generation and distribution had been a major issue in the country, leveraging solar power solutions would play a significant role in dealing with the issue of power vacuum in the country.
The Minister of Works, Power, Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, had recently said that the solutions to the current power challenge was the adoption of hybrid solutions and power reduction strategies as it is done in Ghana.
However, Seriki said that the company had further expanded its investment in latest and modern solar factory in order to provide the assistance needed towards ensuring that the Federal Government delivered enduring power supply to Nigerians.
Explaining the readiness of Omatek to play a key role in the power provision for the country, Seriki said the 50KVA three-phase off-grid solar solution inaugurated earlier in its factory would provide a 24/7 power supply.
This, she said, would result in 85 per cent reduction in power consumption for factories, banks, telecoms firms, government and other organisations that require big solar power installations, while adding that its Lagos factory currently assembled locally the 12watts, 20 watts, 500 watts power solutions.