Over the last decades,
international development organi-sations have been actively engaged in encouraging biogas technologies in the developing world.
The development partners underscored the rising need for the reduction of pollution and re-use of Biodegradable organic Feedback (BoF), particularly in Africa.
According to them, bio-energy constitutes a significant proportion of energy mix of countries in Europe, America and should be replicated in Africa.
This development necessitated the adaptation of technologies that can transform BoF such as food and agro-related waste, sewage sludge and municipal organic waste into valuable products like bioenergy and biofertiliser.
Experts in the field observed that Egypt, AlgeriaA, South Africa and Kenya have made good success in the areas of biogas generation for domestic cooking and bioelectri-city generation.
It was, therefore, not an accident, when in 2015 the Federal Government, as parts of Nigeria’s Economy Recovery and Growth Plan mandated the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) to design programmes for the nation’s bioenergy advancement.
The focus of NABDA in this regards was clear, to develop prototype digesters and other systems that will utilise the abundant BoF across the country.
Specifically, the agency was given the mandate to ensure that bioenergy, comprising ethanol and biogas constitute five per cent of Nigeria’s energy mix.
In a major breakthrough, NABDA on July 23 unveiled a prototype Digesters and Process Optimisation Test Systems to serve as alternative energy in rural and urban settlements of the country.
The Acting Director-General of the agency, Prof. Alex Akpa who performed the unveiling ceremony in Abuja said the unique product known as prototype digester was developed by the Environmental Biotechnology and Bio-Conservation Department of NABDA.
Akpa noted that the product was built for households, small and medium scale enterprises such as restaurants, small farms, small artisanal clusters and small abattoirs.
“The Biodigester is quite affordable, the smallest size is about N75,000 while the biggest is about N150,000.
“We are ready for the market. We are hopeful that industrialists could partner with us to achieve mass production,’’ he said.
The acting D-G said the prototype bio-digesters have been developed with all sectors in mind comprising three sizes produced and named BEGS 250 litres, BEGS 500litres and BEGS 1000litres.
“The team has developed the capacity to retrofit existing gasoline and diesel generator to use biogas as fuel for electricity generation.
“The technology can transform biodegradable organic feedstock into valuable products such as biogas and bio-fertiliser, he added.
He assured that the agency would continue to provide technical assistance in all aspects of bio-energy develop-ment in the country and ensure the digesters and test systems are produced in quantities that would be affordable.
Mr Ayodele Oluwole explained that biodigester is designed as a closed system, capable of fermenting biodegradable materials placed inside it to produce a renewable energy source.
Oluwole, a biogas technologist, said organic materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste are broken down in the biodigester to produce biogas which is mixture of gasses, methane, hydrogen and carbon monoxide.
He said the energy released, through combustion allows biogas to be used as a fuel that could be used for any heating purpose, such as cooking.
Oluwole added that it could also be used in a gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity.
“In advanced usage, Biogas can also be compressed, the same way as natural gas is compressed and used to power motor vehicles.
“In the United Kingdom for example, biogas is estimated to have the potential to replace around 17 per cent of vehicle fuel,’’ he said.
Mrs Gloria Obioh, the Head of the department that championed the innovation allayed the fear of readily available raw materials for the biodigester. Obioh said organic wastes including sewage sludge account for about 50 per cent of municipal solid wastes in Nigeria.
She added that agricultural waste, manure, plant material and green waste are readily available in rural settlements of the country.
“The project has enhanced capacity for job creation across all value chains, digester fabrication, energy generation, waste management and bio-fertiliser production’’.
“Consequently there would be several spin-off industries which would contribute greatly to Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and National Development,’’ she said.
Obioh also noted that, if developed, Anaerobic Digestion Technology (ADT) will contribute up to 20,000 MW of electricity to the national grid.
The Executive Vice Chairman of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof Mohammed Haruna urged NABDA to perfect the technology and make the products available to end users.
Stakeholders in the sector believe that the breakthrough by NABDA will be whole when the agency, make the products affordable and available as alternative energy source to rural, urban settlements.
Onifade writes for New Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Lawmakers Vow To Resolve Rivers Port, BUA Terminal Crisis
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Ports and Harbours, Hon. Datti Garaba Muhammad, says the committee will intervene in the lingering court case between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Rivers Port Complex and the BUA terminal operators.
The chairman said the committee’s intervention would save the situation and improve business activities in the complex.
Hon. Muhammad spoke to newsmen in Port Harcourt while on an oversight function to the NPA, Rivers Port Complex, last Tuesday.
Accompanied by other members, Muhammad said:“We are here to hear the challenges, we want them to furnish us with details of the agreement, we want to see the concession agreement between NPA and BUA terminal”.
He said the committee was ready to bring peace between both parties so as to improve on the revenue accrued to the government.
Muhammad disclosed that both parties had approached the Federal High Court and Court of Arbitration in London over the issue.
He said as a committee, it is their responsibility to oversee both the NPA and the terminal operators doing business in the port complex.
Speaking earlier, the Port Manager, Rivers Port Complex, Engr. Yunusa Ibrahim Anji, had told the committee that NPA had decommissioned berth 8, which collapsed some months ago.
Berth 8 is being operated by BUA terminal operators.
The manager appealed to the committee to intervene in the lingering issue as it is affecting its revenue.
He said the collapse of the berth and the legal tussle between NPA and the operator were greatly affecting maritime activities in the port.
The manager said Rivers Port Complex is one of the ports with the highest numbers of private jetties, explaining that the port has over 36 private jetties across the state.
AfCFTA: MAN Urges Stakeholders To Address Vital Issues
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on stakeholders of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to address vital issues during negotiations to ensure that the overall goal is achieved by the continent.
MAN President, Mr Mansur Ahmed made the call yesterday at the opening ceremony of a two-day African Continental Free Trade Area National Forum, in Lagos.
The event is themed, “Effective Implementation for Industrialisation and Inclusive Economic Development in Nigeria.’
Ahmed said the key issues included technical and political challenges that must be resolved.
According to him, it is important that Nigeria benefits and ensures she meets the targeted seven per cent economic growth rate expected to take about 100 million people out of poverty.
“President Buhari is committed to lifting 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years; how can we ensure that the AfCFTA leads us towards that journey?,” he said.
Ahmed said the critical dimensions that must be addressed during conversations concerning the AfCFTA should include policies and regulations, rules and conduct of the players.
“The way we merge the processes, the agreements, regulations, institutions and how these work together to ensure that the game is being played in accordance with the rules and expectations.
“The issues need to be defined in a way that we see the complexities; technical and political, to ensure clarity.
“All these must be formulated in a way that all stakeholders understand their roles and obligations and therefore play according to the rules,’’the MAN president said.
Ahmed said that all negotiators were not of the same capacity and inclination, which would require harmonisation on a regional level to resolve issues such as market offer and collaboration.
He urged stakeholders to view the negotiations with a sense of collaboration and not allow any player deemed as too powerful to dominate.
“We must look at the interest of the group as a whole and the interest of the region, and what provides the best long term and sustainable interest of the region.
“There must be a strong commitment by our governments, various institutions and private sector groups to look beyond the norms and look at the goal for the region and continent,’’he said.
Oil Firm Commissions Projects In Host Communities
An indigenous oil company operating Oil Mining Lease (OML) 18 in Rivers State, Eroton Exploration and Production Company Limited, has put smiles on the faces of its host communities with projects estimated at hundreds of millions of Naira.
Projects commissioned recently in Minama, Ifoko, Sangama, Ido and Abonnema towns, include ultra-modern town halls, civic centres and an integrated agro-farm industry that have mopped up hundreds of youths from the unemployment market in the area.
Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Mr. Felix Odungweru, who was the Special Guest of Honour commended the communities for the peaceful disposition and cooperation during the execution of the projects and assured that the Government of Chief Nyesom Wike would ensure that multi-national companies operating in the state develop their host communities.
Speaking to newsmen at Sangama in Asari Toru Local Government Area – shortly after commissioning the ultra-modern civic centre, the Cluster Development Board Chairman, Deacon Chrstian Sekibo, thanked the communities for nominating upright members of their communities to the membership of the board who had worked relentlessly to ensure the success of the various projects commissioned.
He promised to provide toilets for Minama Community in Asari-Toru LGA, in response to the people’s demand for toilets in the community.
Deacon Sekibo debunked the insinuation that youth restiveness prevents multi-national companies from developing their host communities, pointing out that the board received the best of cooperation from the communities youth.
“We received the best cooperation from youth of these communities. Their cooperation is an indication these youth in our communities were hungry for development. We could see it in their eyes, actions and attitudes,” he said.
Also speaking to newsmen at Ifoko Town in Asari-Toru LGA, after the commissioning of an ultra-modern town hall, consultant to the board, Dr Godwin MInimah of Godifems Consults Limited, said the interest of the host communities was paramount to Eroton E & P.
The second day of the programme witnessed the commissioning of the integrated agro-farm in Ido Community in Asari-Toru LGA with offices and staff quarters for essential staff.
In his welcome address, Deacon Sekibo said, “upon payment of the 2015/2016 project funds by the joint ventures partners- NNPC/Eroton E&P, the DAA3 board agreed to invest it in an income yielding project and accordingly settled for an agro business. Hence, the integrated agro farm project.
“The farm has poultry with an installed capacity for 15,000 birds; fishery with capacity for 20,000 catfish fingerlings; snailery with capacity for 8,000 snails and piggery with capacity for 144 piglets and pigs.”
Commissioning of the Ido Integrated Agro Farm and the Abonnema civic centre were withnessed by the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Mr Felix Odungweru, representatives of Eroton company, community chiefs and elders, among others.
By: Donatus Ebi
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