Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology has commended University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) for building a 500kva Refuse-Derived-Fuel Gasification plant that will help address electricity challenges in the country.
Onu made the commendation Wednesday, in Nsukka when he paid a working visit to the university to inspect the plant built by Prof Emenike Ejiogu and his research team that converts organic waste to fuel.
He said that he was impressed with the innovation by the university to produce a gas plant that use organic refuses to generate fuel for electricity plant, adding that the breakthrough is very important to the nation’s quest for additional and diversified electricity generation.
“I have gone round and seen the research and innovation work carried out in the conversion of solid waste to electricity. This is important to our nation this time when additional electricity generation is needed for our industrialization drive.
“I am convinced that the outcome of this research and innovation effort will in the near future be patronized by individuals, companies, the organized private sector and government here in Nigeria, Africa and the world.
“I congratulate UNN for this important achievement. There is need to incorporate this innovation into the school curriculum. This will enrich teaching as well encourage the establishment of the multi-disciplinary teams of students to focus on generating electricity for off-grid and under-served locations of the country,” he said.
The minister who pledged the willingness of his ministry to support the research and innovation, however, urged other Nigerian higher institutions to focus more on research and innovation.
“The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is will to support this research and innovation. It has the great potential to help us eliminate waste dumps in towns and cities on our dear country. This will also help to create jobs and wealth, generate electricity to power our industrialization drive.
“While I commend Prof Charles Igwe the UNN Vice Chancellor for his support and his good administration in the institution, and Prof Ejiogu and his research team for this wonderful innovation
I urge other Nigerian Universities to pay more attention to research and innovation. This is one way that Nigerian universities can in the future be ranked among the best in the world,” he said.
Ealier, Prof Igwe, the VC of the University commended the Minister for the visit and his ministry’s willingness to support the university to develop the innovation.
The VC said that the ministry’s support would help the institution solve electricity problem in the campuses and its environments as well eliminate high monthly electricity bill from Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)
“UNN is happy and excited with your visit which will go a long way in getting federal governments attention to the waste gasification plant project.
“The 500kva refuse gas plant build by Ejiogu and his research team, will go a long way to solve the problem of power supply in UNN and entire country.
“Your ministry’s support would help us to produce more of the plants that will cover every part of the university, millions of naira will be saved every month, as UNN will no longer pay N80m monthly electricity bill to EEDC,” he said.
Also in a remark, Prof. Ejiogu the Head of the research team
said that the plant was designed and facilitated by the University‘s Laboratory of Industrial Electronics, Power Devices, and New Energy Systems (LIEPNES).
He said that the plant was capable of reducing diesel consumption by 60 percent, he added that the team with the support of the university, federal government, and private individuals is willing anytime to mass produce the plant for commercial use which will go a long way in solving electricity problem in the country.
Recalled that in March 19, 2019, UNN through Prof Ejiogu led reserch team set a new record of electricity generation in the country by using organic waste to install 100KV Refuse Drived Fuel (RDF) gasification plant in the campus.
Currently, the installed RDF 500KVA gasification plant is supplying electricity to the administrative building of UNN.
Dr. Bonaventure Okere, the Director Center for Basic Science, Nsukka was among those in minister’s entourage.