Federal Government, Katsina State Agreed to set up Institute to Harness Silica Deposits for production of Solar cells in Katsina State.

The Federal government through the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure(NASENI) and Katsina State government have entered into an MoU to set up an Institute, Engineering Materials & Equipment Development Institute(EMEDI) to harness the abundance of high quality silica(sand) in Katsina State to be converted into Solar cells and other electronic products.

Silica, otherwise known as common sand, is the major raw materials for production of solar cells used in manufacturing of solar panels.

It is common knowledge today that Nigeria needed alternative and sustainable sources of power generation aside hydro power source and or connection to national grid because of inadequate generation, transmission and supply of electricity in the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Engr.Prof.Mohammed Sani Haruna in Katsina State Government House today while signing the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government, said “the focus of the institute to be administered by NASENI, is to harnesses the abundant silica resources(sand) found in the State and to domestic and develop locally the knowledge, human and technical capacities required to make solar panels manufacturing, solar cells, integrated circuit (IC) materials and other electronic materials become common place in Nigeria.

Professor Haruna explained that:” the collaboration could not have come at a better time because only yesterday(Tuesday), President Muhammadu Buhari as Chairman, Governing Board of NASENI approved the establishment of first local plant to manufacture solar cells in Nigeria to be carried out by NASENI in partnership with China Great Wall Incorporation(CGWI).

During the signing of the MoU between NASENI on behalf of the Federal Government and Executive Governor Of Katsina State, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, the Governor disclosed that Katsina deserved the sitting of the of Institute in the State because of the abundance of high quality sand(silicas) in the State.

The Governor said further that the pragmatic approach to effectively promote Katsina State to join front line economic viable states in Nigeria was what informed the formalization of this MoU with NASENI today on behalf of the Federal Government.

Governor Aminu Masari said although the visit by NASENI was not the first but this particular visit was the call for action to formalize the agreement and issues discussed during the previous meeting.

He said Katsina was in dire need of job and wealth creation opportunities and therefore both the Institute and the production of solar cells will meet these needs.

Governor Masari reiterated that Katsina State also wanted the sitting of both the Institute and Solar manufacturing plants in the State, noting their potentials to address equity in location, allocation and distribution of resources in the country so that all Nigerians would no longer continue to depend on only one source of revenue which he believed was bringing lots of economic frustration in the polity.

He added “the unabated violence and crimes in the nation are linked to general socio-economic frustrations in the country”

Therefore, he believed in Nigeria and the Nigerian technical experts to deliver Katsina States’ strive to move the State and the country forward through science and technology hence this MoU With NASENI is key to my Government “

Other objectives of the MoU amongst other things included collaboration between the Katsina State Government and NASENI to develop the State using knowledge, science, technology and innovations to transform the State.

NASENI and Katsina State will focus on activities in technology transfer and Brokerage,technology acquisition, entrepreneurial training, technical backups and Consultancy.

Other deliverables include evolution of primary and development targets in Glassware, Ceramics, Foundry technology, Energy, Science Kits production, Computer Aided Designs/Computer Aided Manufacturing. Electrical equipment and power machines Production technology and management, Electrical/Electronics, Advanced materials including Nanotechnology, Advance Manufacturing Technology (AMT) Facilities and Joint evaluation of entrepreneurs etc.

While responding Engr. Prof. M. S. Haruna reiterated his unrelenting efforts to make sure NASENI’s goals and objectives were achieved. He said President Muhammadu Buhari who is the Chairman of NASENI Board had given the Agency new directions to do more on its activities and innovations.

Olusegun Ayeoyenikan
Deputy Director

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