End epileptic power supply to boost research devt- SHESTCO

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By Olasunkanmi Onifade

Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO) has urged stakeholders in the power sector to address the issue of unreliable power supply to enhance research and development in Nigeria.

Prof. Paul Onyenekwe, Director-General of SHESTCO, made this call on Thursday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Onyenekwe emphasised the critical need for consistent electricity to support research institutes and manufacturing industries, which rely heavily on stable power to operate their equipment effectively.

He pointed out that the current erratic power supply severely hampers the activities of these institutions, forcing them to depend on generators, which are unsuitable for sensitive equipment.

He also noted that solar power, while an alternative, is not viable for long-term research activities, especially during the rainy season.

“Power supply is the central point of all activities whether in research institutes or industries.
Without power, one will have to use generator but we cannot be using generator as there are some sensitive equipment that you are not supposed to switch off.
“The solar source of power as an alternative energy cannot be used effectively for research activities as it cannot go for longer hours especially during rainy season,” he said

Onyenekwe commended the Federal Government for appointing Chief Uche Nnaji as the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, acknowledging his efforts to drive growth in the sector.

He highlighted SHESTCO’s recent advancements in innovative technology, particularly in the areas of agro machinery and the production of a diagnostic machine for detecting malaria parasites.

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Onyenekwe also called on the National Assembly to revisit the National Research and Innovation Fund Bill, arguing that its passage into law would significantly address funding challenges within the science, technology, and innovation sectors.

“The major problem in the Science, Technology and Innovation sector is the funding. The National Research and Innovation Fund which had been passed by the National Assembly severally was never assented to.
“The bill, when passed into law, would go a long way to address problems of the research institutes in the country.

“As TETFUND is presently addressing funding challenges in the universities, National Research and Innovation Fund will address funding and also take care of innovators,” Onyenekwe said.

He compared its potential impact to that of TETFUND for universities, emphasising that the fund would support research institutes and innovators across the country. (NAN) www.nannews.ng

Edited by Deji Abdulwahab

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