The Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Professor Mohammed Haruna, has Nigeria has the capacity for develop solar power.
He also said NASENI has been conducting world class research and producing equipment.
He blamed labour disputes on lack of communication between workers and management.
He said that members of the labour union are human beings who understand the fact that there are lean resources in circulation and appreciate continuous dialogue.
Haruna made the submissions yesterday in Abuja, while receiving an award of excellence from members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) of the agency.
He said: “We are aware of the gap but the research and equipment we are producing are world class. Our solar power plant in Karshi is a demonstration that it is possible to do it Nigerian. The plant is 7.5megawatt but with support and funding we can expand it to 50megawatt or more and duplicate it elsewhere.
“What we have been calling for a very long time is to ensure that we produce all the raw materials, especially the solar sense locally and the raw materials are available. It is only the equipment to make it that is requiring funding. The entire world is going solar and in Nigeria, there is no part of the country that solar cannot be installed and it works all year round and it will contribute tremendously to the inadequate power supply that we are experiencing in this country.”
On labour disputes, the EVC blamed it on lack of communication between workers and management.
He said the peaceful co-existence that exists in the agency demonstrates that staff are happy to conduct research and sacrifice with the little resources available.
Haruna said: “There is a continuous dialogue as at today. They have other demands but they appreciate the lean resources available and reason with management.
“We believe that wherever there is adequate communication and transparency, the union leaders are human beings and they will understand.”
He said NASENI was collaborating with workers to show the peaceful coexistence existing in the agency.
He said: “The significance is to demonstrate the peaceful co-existence that exists and to demonstrate that the staff of the system are happy to do research. It demonstrates their willingness to continue to sacrifice working with the little resources available. It also shows us that despite the fact that we punish, we still reward where possible.
“It is not that the union has got all that it needs but what is happening is that we are open, we make things clear to them. There is an open system democracy in the system, we present to them what is available, explain to them what is possible and encourage everyone to sacrifice what cannot be possible for the benefit of the country.
Haruna praised his predecessors for laying a good foundation for the agency.
“My achievements are possible because of the foundation laid by ex- chief executives who made my work easy. We are building on a foundation laid by them.
“I think our biggest achievement is trying to run with the current trend in the world, we are innovative, researching and developing equipment that is modern in nature, we are trying to catch up with the world,” he added.
The Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, who was present at the ceremony, urged Prof. Haruna not to rest but to continue to do the good works that led to his recognition.
The General Secretary of NASU, Comrade Peters Adeyemi said that all agreements entered into between the successive federal governments and the various unions in the sector are products of ad-hoc negotiations, which are more or less foisted on the government through prolonged strike actions embarked upon by unions in the sector.
According to him, this fire brigade approach to industrial relations has not guaranteed industrial peace in the sector.
He added that the security of job of NASU members remains a great challenge to the leadership of the union.
“While negotiating for wage increase and better conditions of service for members, the union has at the back of its mind, the security of jobs of all its workers,” he said.
The immediate past President of NASU in charge of research and project trade group council, Engr. Tijani Wakili explained that NASENI under the leadership of Prof. Haruna has actually grown in leaps and bounds.
“It is only a blind man that will not notice the fundamental and phenomenal growth that transcends the length and breadth of the agency,’ he added.