By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA: Worried by incessant attacks on oil installations, especially bursting of gas pipelines by the militants in the Niger Delta, the Federal Government has directed the management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to explore alternative energy sources, with a view to addressing the problems of irregular power supply.
The gas pipelines laid across the Niger Delta region have suffered series of attacks and vandalism in recent times following activities of organized militant groups which disrupted gas supply to power transmission plants. Relating this development to Vanguard in an interview in Abuja, the Group General Manager, Renewable Energy Division, NNPC, Dr Rabiu Suleiman, said the Corporation was ready to collaborate with stakeholders in the power sector in order to deepen development of the renewable energy, particularly solar. He explained that the NNPC would soon sign Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with an indigenous firm, NIGUS International, in order to form a common partnership towards transforming the entire country in the use of alternative energy.
According to him, “It is a very welcome development and this is an effort that government has been making for several years. It forms part of the various discussions that President Muhammadu Buhari has undertaken in different countries including China and United State of America.
“Most importantly during the COP 21 in Paris and most recently in America, the President committed himself to the United Nations conventions and requirements to reduce carbon footprint. Justifying the move towards renewable energy, Suleiman said it is inexhaustible. “One, it is a raw material, a source of power. It is a source of economic development endowed by God, that is sun that is inexhaustible, that is renewable, that remains between 15-18hours a day in Nigeria, particularly in the northern part of the country where it is not only sunny but it is also dry.”