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UNILAG Set to Provide Low Cost Electricity for the Masses – THISDAY Newspapers


The University of Lagos (UNILAG) has said it will soon provide access to energy that will be cost effective for the society.

The Director, Research and Innovation, Prof. Wellington Oyibo, who disclosed this in Lagos, said the development is coming after the ground breaking research output of the clinical assessment of the urine malaria test by the university, which is currently in the market.

He said the institution is already at an advanced stage of coming up with solution to the problem of inadequate power supply among many others. “We are at an advanced stage of validating other non-evasive samples that is, non-blood materials and we are on top of that currently.

“This means too that with focus, commitment and with the support the university is providing, we are sure to get to where we intend to get to in terms of research, development and innovation and in terms of what is needed for our people and what is improving upon what is available already.
“Again we are looking at ways we can create access to products in a cost effective manner. For example, we have colleagues in the energy space here and in the course of carrying out their research, we told them that we want people to have access to energy which must be cost effective.

“If you should compute how much it takes for you to run a generating set every day and you put the amount together, you will discover that what you have spent in buying fuel in just a week could actually provide you electricity for one year.”

The don said the team of researchers are not just talking about alternative source, but low cost access to energy in the university. “A number of all these developments have gone through the proof of concept prototype and they are being reviewed.”

Oyibo said a number of these are also currently going through material reductions in an effort to see that it is low cost and so from the proof of concept, one can do something that works.
“Now, if this works for perhaps N100,000, we also want to see how we can bring it down to N10,000 and N5,000 so that it can be affordable and accessible. That is what we are talking about, meaningful research, by not just doing what works but also what is affordable at low cost.

“All these are in the pipeline and of course will not want to tie down the time of completion to any particular time because a number of factors will come into it. So if you want low cost energy access, we must ensure that all other factors are considered even after the proof of concept, the turnover, that is the commercialisation will also go into the process, which may take a little time.

“But because I am sure that energy is a challenge in the country, it will not take time but in terms of the process and time, I may not be able to fix a time but what I can say is that very soon, this will be realised.”

He said even if the alternative source of energy is not mass produced, it would be available at some numbers for the masses to have until it is scaled up.
According to him, the institution is already reviewing the process as well as cost reduction and scalability until it is satisfied with what it has as it may be swinging.

He promised that any time soon, the people will not have cause to worry about electricity any more, adding that it is unique how the institution could make an impact to the society. He stressed that the major point to be emphasised is the need to bring the public and private sectors closer for greater and more meaningful collaboration.

Oyibo stated that the university on its part is making more efforts to go closer to the private sector, especially in an attempt to let the major players know that it is not just a place where only teaching and learning takes place.

“We want them to know that we also have a strong ecosystem that is available and that here in UNILAG, we are also willing to partner with them. We can build technology ground for them just as we have the capacity. Our new Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe is on top of this as a follow up to where his predecessor had moved it.”



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