“My advice is that the government should invest in solar energy. It should try to be using solar to complement the hydropower.”
Hon. Desmond Emezie, the chief executive officer of Emezie Desmat Ventures Ltd, as well as an executive officer of Alaba International Market is one of those who strongly believe that the greatest achievement that one can make on earth is the service that one rendered to one’s fellow man or community.
This, according to him, is the main reason of all the businesses in the world, he decided to go into solar energy business in order to help Nigeria that is battling with epileptic power supply. In this interview, he also spoke on other issues. Excerpts:
Who is Hon. Desmond Emezie?
Hon. Desmond Emezie is the Chief Executive Officer of Emezie Desmat Ventures Ltd. By the grace of God and dint of hard work, one of the leading solar energy companies in Nigeria. I am from Isu Local Government Area of Imo State. I can say that we are one of the pioneers of solar energy business in the country. We are into solar energy system like solar panels, solar all-in-one street light, solar batteries, inverters and all solar accessories like Schneifer inverters, Schneider combox, and batteries and so on.
Of all the businesses in the world, why did you choose solar?
I have travelled far and wide. For instance, if you go to the United States of America, you will hardly notice the difference between night and day because round the clock, there is brightness. That is why some people say that New York is a city that doesn`t sleep. But when you come back to Nigeria, the reverse becomes the case. No part of Nigeria can boast of four hours continuous power supply. Because of the perennial epileptic power supply, Nigerians celebrate whenever they see light, the way football fans celebrate whenever their team scores a goal. I saw this as an embarrassment for a country that \ prides itself as the giant of Africa. I, therefore, decided that I should do something about it in order to change the narrative of my dear country with regard to power supply. That was why I went into the business of solar energy.
How is the issue of fake and substandard products, which Alaba is notorious for affecting your business?
Well, I personally don’t have issues with fake and substandard products because I have my own brand of products. Like Desmat solar panels, Desmat inverters, Desmat solar pans, Desmat chargers and controllers, as well as Desmat all-in-one street light. So, whoever wants to fake my products is indirectly trying to popularize them. But one thing is certain. You cannot sell them because I would always sell cheaper than you. I mass-produce and make my money based on volume. It is just like trying to fake Dangote products. It would tantamount to waste of time and resources because you cannot sell them.
How does your Desmat all-in-one street light work?
It is a self-propelled security light. By self-propelled, I mean that it switches on and off by itself. It does not require an operator. It is currently in use at Air Force Base, Besam, Ikeja, Gwagwalada General Hospital, to mention just a few places. Once it is 6 O’clock in the evening, it will switch on and immediately it is 6 O’clock in the morning, it will switch off. Many other estates and communities in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and other parts of the country are using it. I can say that it is the most reliable as well as the most affordable solar street light in the country today. I have to be specific so that the doubting Thomases can go to the places that I have mentioned to do their inquires.
Is Nigeria jinxed? Why can’t we have steady power supply like other countries?
Nigeria is neither jinxed nor cursed. In fact, Nigeria is one of the most blessed countries in the world. The only problem is that we are not improving. We are not developing ourselves. We believe in reinventing the wheel. The other countries of the world that have steady power supply have many sources of power supply. But here in Nigeria, everybody, more than 200 million people depend solely on the national grid for power supply. That is why we cannot have steady power supply. Even in the other parts of the world, hydro, which is the most expensive source of energy is being discarded. So, the problem with Nigeria is that we have only one source of power supply. Solar which is now a major source of power supply in the developed world is still being treated as a side attraction in Nigeria.
Therefore, for Nigeria to have steady power supply, the government must invest in the other sources of power like solar and wind. The northern part of the country, for instance, is best suited for solar and wind. They have no business with hydro power. This is how it is done in the other climes. There is no way the whole country can depend on a single source of power. Now, let me give you an insider information; the Federal Government is boasting that it has attained 5,000 mega watts of electricity. But do you know that Lagos State alone needs about 2,500 mega watts for normal periods and 2,700 for peak periods. So, if you take away 2,500 from 5,000, how many megawatts is remaining for the other 35 states?
So, what is your advice?
My advice is that the government should invest in solar energy. It should try to be using solar to complement the hydropower. That is the only way to go.