Based on its nationally determined contribution (NDC) targets, Nigeria is currently pursuing environmental friendly technologies which will help it achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The Federal Government is encouraging ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to pursue projects, inventions and innovations that will help the nation achieve its NDC targets.
In line with this, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), being chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, has come up with various inventions and innovations to help government achieve its feat. One of such invention is the development of the first made-in-Nigeria helicopter project.
Speaking during a courtesy call on the Minister of Environment, Muhammad Abubakar, the executive vice chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, said the agency was trying to launch the first made-in-Nigeria aircraft and there are environmental regulations it must meet up with.
He said, “We must be accessed and permitted to test any engine in the environment. We have designed, developed and fabricated jet engines that EIA is being conducted by the Ministry of Environment and we want it to be fast-tracked, we also want the ministry to collaborate with us by supporting larger and mass production of our solar products which contribute to the reduction of emission.”
The NASENI boss underscored the importance of collaborating with the ministry on the Green Bond and other environmental friendly technologies for sustainable development, listing other interventions of the agency in various sectors of the economy.
“NASENI has intervened in several sectors of the Nigerian economy. The agency has successfully domesticated several technologies which erstwhile were believed to be impossible in the country. In the energy sector, the Karshi Solar Manufacturing Plant, Abuja, managed by NASENI Solar Energy Limited, is the first of its kind in the West African region, with a production capacity of 7.5 megawatts of solar panel annually. Efforts are underway to expand the production capacity to 25 megawatts per annum and to start production of solar cells locally from silica-sand, which is abundantly available in the country,” he said.
He also said the agency’s developmental work in the area of small hydropower (SHP) produced the first set of made-in-Nigeria crossflow turbines.
Haruna told the minister that based on Nigeria’s NDCs’ target for emission reduction by 2030, electricity generation provides the highest potentials for emission reduction, adding NASENI’s efforts in renewable energy technologies will assist the ministry and the nation achieve the emission reduction targets.
Listing interventions in the transport sector, he said NASENI had produced the first made-in-Nigeria cargo tricycle model, commonly referred to as “Keke NASENI”, ceded to Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Company for mass production and commercialization.
“We have several other patented agro-allied machines including solar dryers, rice threshers and fish dryers. The NASENI e-voting solution is a solar-powered electronic voting system with cloud-based collation of election results,” he added.
He said these efforts were aimed at transforming the nation’s economy from a consumer economy to a more sustainable manufacturing economy to create jobs, alleviate poverty and make wealth for the people which would help mitigate the impact of climate change on the lives and livelihood of the people.
In his response, Abubakar said his ministry would commence environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the helicopter being manufactured by NASENI through reversed engineering.
He said the EIA projects would be conducted to identify possible mitigation in the insulation of equipment on the project, be it noise, solid or liquid pollutions etc.
“Environment impact assessment (EIA) is part of every endeavor on the planet but especially when you talk of aviation, there is a lot of impact on the environment from accidents in aviation, birds’ strike, noise, vibration, wastes that will be created etc.
“The EIA projects entail a number of things like project registration, site verification for project categorisation and screening environmental data collection and a lot more. It will identify possible mitigation in the insulation of abetment equipment whether noise, pollution both solid and liquid pollutants are all the EIA project will look at. Let me implore you to ensure that EIA is conducted on all your projects to enhance their sustainability,” he added.
By Nkechi Isaac, Leadership Science Correspondent