RAESON CONFAB Experts Brainstorm On Nigeria's Power Challenges By Humphrey Ogu

Ways of tackling Nigeria's power production and distribution challenges formed the main thrust of the 8th Annual and International Conference of the Renewable and Alternative Energy Society of Nigeria (RAESON) which held in the University from Wednesday, April 25 to Friday, April 28, 2018.

The conference which had: “Renewable Energy for Stable Power Supply and Environmental Sustainability” as its theme, attracted participants and experts from the Physical and Biological Sciences, as well as Engineering and allied fields in various universities around the country.

In his welcome address, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, expressed joy that RAESON chose UniPort for such an important gathering of experts. The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Director of Quality Assurance and Quality Control Unit, Professor Ikechukwu Agbagwa, described renewable energy as a topical issue that has been engaging the attention of scientists and other stakeholders.

 “It is unfortunate that we are still depending on non-renewable energy for domestic and industrial use in Nigeria. We need to look at renewable energy, which we have in abundance from the biological to its physical forms. We often hold conferences and proffer fantastic solutions, poor implementation has remained a major problem,” he observed. Professor Agbagwa urged participants to ensure that the outcome of the conference did not end up as a mere academic exercise, but to form the basis of workable solutions to Nigeria's daunting energy generation and distribution challenges.  

In his opening remarks, President of RAESON, Professor Chidi Akujor, bemoaned the adverse impact of poor electricity supply to Nigerians. “The challenge of inadequate power supply has affected sustenance of the nation's industry infrastructure.” He blamed Nigeria's parlous electricity infrastructure for the relocation of major industrial establishments to neighbouring countries with negative impact on national industrial output.

“As scientists, we have come together under the umbrella of RAESON, a forum dedicated to the exchange of ideas and research information amongst experts. The society encourages collaboration among scientists, policymakers, and creates awareness through workshops and conferences,” he told the gathering.       

Delivering the keynote speech on, “The Role of Renewable Energy in Achieving Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Target in Nigeria: Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to Paris Climate Change Agreement”, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, called for closer collaboration between government agencies, experts and policy makers to reverse the declining electricity supply in Nigeria.

Dr. Anuforom, who was the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet), said: “The relevant agencies should intensify efforts towards closer monitoring of the sources, concentration and trajectory of soot in the atmosphere.”

The event which commenced with a courtesy visit on the Vice-Chancellor, also featured conferment of Fellowships on Dr. Anuforom, Vice-Chancellor of Arthur Jarvis University, Calabar, Professor Julian Osuji, Professor Francis Sikoki and RAESON Financial Secretary and Treasurer, Dr. Chinyere Madu.   




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