A Professor of Applied
Microbiology, Confidence K. Wachukwu says the solution to Nigeria’s teething unreliable energy supply is Biogas, a waste product which is abundant in the country.
Professor Wachukwu, who stated this midweek in his inaugural lecture at Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), hinted that all it would take to have enough Biogas was the political will to turn the available waste in the country to energy.
In the lecture titled, “Microorganisms, Providing Solutions to Some Food And Environmental Challenges,” Wachukwu stated that Nigeria produces so much domestic waste that could generate enough energy capable of serving as an alternative source.
In spite of this possibilities, however, he noted that the country did not have the political will to turn around its abundant wastes to energy, which would have been started by providing formal waste dumps.
“One of the major environmental problems confronting the nation (Nigeria) today is how to manage our wastes properly, be it domestic, industrial, or hazardous wastes.
“The commonly practiced waste disposal method in Nigeria is the open dumping, which constitutes major environmental and health challenges.
“Approximately 70 per cent of Nigeria’s 150 million people live in areas where no formal waste management systems are in place,” he said.
This, he continued, is in recognition of the fact that though Nigeria is an oil producer, the country “faces a severe energy crisis because of continuous supply distractions.’
“Nigeria’s centralised oil and gas distribution networks are easy targets for rebels, energy hackers and criminals alike.
“However, Nigeria has a resource in waste that can provide a much safer decentralised flow of energy. The technology is simple, easy to manage, highly efficient, renewable and economical.
“The resource would take away urban pollution and waste streams, a major problem in Nigeria’ rapidly growing cities. This resource is Biogas,” he said.
He explained that Biogas could be got from domestic, industrial and hazardous wastes through processes which have been tested and found to be an alternative source of energy supply, but has to start by a decision to have identified areas where wastes can be disposed off for the purpose of producing Biogas.
Professor Wachukwu thus recommended that “the South-South states of Nigeria should pool their resources together and construct a good sanitary Land fill site where wastes should be properly managed and treated.”
Beyond this, he also stated that there “should be an institutional framework for renewable energy education in Nigeria to come up with policies geared towards increasing the adoption of Biogas technology.
“The engineers, microbiologists or agricultural scientists should form a synergy for efficient and effective Biogas production from biogradable wastes,” the professor said.