As Nigerians continued to groan over the epileptic power supply, the Federal Government on Friday took a bold step to establish the first solar cell production factory in West Africa. When fully built and operational, the factory pioneered by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) is expected to boost solar energy and power supply as well as engender Industrial development in Nigeria. Performing the foundation laying ceremony of the Solar Plant in Gora, Nasarawa State, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the landmark achievement by NASENI places Nigeria within the ranks of countries pushing the boundaries in the use of climate-smart alternative energy sources, particularly solar power According to the Vice President, “For over ten years, NASENI has been consistent in championing solar power as alternative to hydro and fossil power sourcing. And it was to this end that the Agency established NASENI Solar Energy Limited (NSEL) in Karshi, Federal Capital Territory, with a mandate to deliver alternative solar energy to homes and businesses in Nigeria. “The development and maturity of the NASENI Solar Energy Ltd whose operations have been driven with the vim and zest of a tech start-up, forecast an increase in local contents of the solar energy production system in Nigeria, leading to ever-increasing production of solar cells. Analysing NASENI’s giant achievement in recent years, Prof Osinbajo attributed the break through to the Federal government’s proactive steps to approve 1% of the federation account annually as prescribed by its founding law for NASENI. “It is evident that this has heralded a new dispensation for NASENI, one that has given it the financial wherewithal to execute its mandate of delivering technological and innovative interventions across critical sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Health, Defence and Security, Power and Energy, Financial Services, Solid Minerals, Additive Manufacturing, Smart Fabrications, Factories, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and Virtual Manufacturing” he said. The Vice President said the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan, approved by the Federal Executive Council last year sets out the nation’s pathway to decarbonisation by 2060 and achieving universal energy access by 2030, adding that the Energy Transition Plan projects, an increase in the use of solar power in the Nigerian energy mix will surpass even gas by 2035.