State governments in Nigeria should invest more in solar technology to tackle the nation’s electricity power outages, says Abubakar Mohammed, the Director-General of Nigeria’s National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
While speaking at the graduation ceremony organized for beneficiaries of the directorate’s Solar Energy Training Scheme (SETS) in Akure, Ondo state, Mohammed said more than 70 percent of Nigerians reside in rural areas, most of which are not connected to the national power grid and by using solar technology, sufficient electricity could be generated and distributed to such areas.
He further stated that renewable energy applications such as solar technology provide effective tools Nigerian governments can use to tackle the high rate of unemployment in addition to fostering capacity building for unemployed youths and attracting foreign investments.
“As renewable energy technology applications in the developing countries are attracting increased interest and financial support from the donor community, it is recommended that the government of Nigeria develop financial instruments that specifically target renewable energy technologies and stimulate market to attract investments,” he said.
At the event, 50 graduating students received starter-packs from the directorate in the first phase of the scheme which has graduated about 950 technicians in about 20 states of the federation.
Mohammed later called on state governors to create jobs for the graduates as a way of encouraging the directorate to train more Nigerian youths in solar technology.
“I will like to appeal to government at all levels to patronize these professionals who have been certified competent to undertake maintenance of existing installations, deploy and install new solar systems, especially in the rural areas,” he said.
Mohammed further urged for collaborations between the directorate and governments at all levels in the area of capacity building to facilitate increased development of new renewable energies.
While speaking on behalf of Ondo state government, the secretary to the state government, Aderotimi Adelola, stated the commitment of the state government to partner with the NDE to ensure the welfare of its citizens, tackling unemployment, and making life better for its residents using schemes that are similar to the NDE model to create employment.