By Ikenna Omeje
The Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), on Wednesday organized an interactive workshop with the winner of the Nigeria Prize for Science 2018, Dr. Peter Ngene, in a bid to proffering solutions to the ailing power sector in the country.
In the event which was held in Lagos with the theme, “Innovation in Electric Power Solutions,” Ngene, an Associate Professor at Utrecht University, Netherlands, discussed different sources the country can use to generate and store electricity to solve her power challenges.
Speaking on the topic, “Nanostructured metal hydrides for the storage of electric power from renewable energy sources and for explosion prevention in high voltage power transformers” which was the work that fetched him the 2018 edition of the NLNG sponsored Nigeria Prize for Science, Ngene defined Nanotechnology as “the ability to understand, control, and manipulate materials at a very small dimensions called nanometers (10-9m).”
His work stands out for two reasons; first, it deals with electric power generation from renewable energy, which is where the rest of the world is gravitating to. Undoubtedly, Nigeria is richly endowed with the renewables, from sunlight to wind, hydro and even fossils.Secondly, his work also deals with conservation of electric power, better still storage device.
In her remarks, the General Manager, External Relations, NLNG, Mrs. Eyono Fatai-Williams, said that the company’s interest was not just in motivating applicable solutions to the society’s problems, but also in promoting public interest in the winning work, to use them to find solution to the nation’s challenges.
“It is for this reason that Nigeria LNG is delighted at the possible synergy that can evolve from today’s interaction. We believe that this is consistent with the pliant approach that we need to progress the needed advancement,” she said.
“Nigeria LNG is here to attract the interest of members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) who are specialised in the power and energy section and to leverage on the reach and diligence of the Institute to attract other interested groups in the business community, to a business interaction/workshop with Dr. Ngene to explore further research or actual trigger investment into actual application of the work.”
She said LCCI was chosen as a viable partner because being the oldest chamber of commerce in the country it had on its register, established business enterprises and interests which could benefit from the Interaction.
“We consider engagements like this as unique platforms that can inspire new business opportunities that can improve our society and our economy. That of course aligns with our vision of helping to build a better Nigeria; together, we can achieve it faster,” she said.
She also observed that a renewed focus on electric power generation and conservation was one area which can offer huge business opportunities in the country.
“It will be instructive for the industry to focus more attention on the renewable sources of energy to improve the situation and promote better energy output for the country, while also aligning with the global clamour for se of cleaner energy sources, as the world combats global warming,” she said.
She also spoke about Nigeria LNG’s commitment to the advancement of this country, saying in the long run, growing businesses would translate into growing our economy as a nation.
“In our capacity as the foremost natural gas exporter in the country, helping to power industrialised nations of the world, Nigeria LNG has a vision of being a global LNG company, helping to build a better Nigeria,” she said.
“We have been driving that vision through our numerous CSR initiatives across the country and especially in our host community, Bonny Island where we provide over 95% stable electric power supply for over a decade now.
“It will be a great achievement if such achievements can be replicated across the country as we believe the country has the resources, but need the industrial will-power by the private sector to make it happen, even if it happens gradually, but steadily.
Similarly, the President of LCCI, Mr Babatunde Paul Ruwase in his remark said harnessing the potentials and the knowledge available in modern day science had become imperative for Nigeria to be innovative in tackling many of the problems currently bedevilling it.
He listed the fundamental issues of the electricity sector to include inadequate generation capacity; limited capacity of transmission network to evacuate total generated power; dilapidated distribution system and aged transformers; inefficiencies in revenue collection due to poor metering system; high commercial losses; and non-cost reflective tariff and poor investment across the system.
“While acknowledging these challenges and their daunting nature, it is pertinent to note that they also present opportunities for innovations that can help Nigeria surmount the electricity problems,” he said.