In an EXCLUSIVE interaction with Najeeb Mamoud Abdussalam, the CEO of Trust Synergy Infrastructure Limited, a Renewable Energy StartUp Company, he took Our Publisher, Adetayo Adegbemle through the gamut of starting out, getting international funding, Government’s role in developing the RE industry and much more.
Enjoy the brief chat, and kindly drop your feedbacks in the Comment section.
Let our readers meet you and Trust Synergy Infrastructure Limited
My Name is Najeeb Mahmoud Abdussalam, I’m the Chief Executive Officer Of Trust Synergy Infrastructure Ltd. Trust Synergy Infrastructure Ltd is a wholly owned Nigerian Company created by a team of young professionals to bridge the infrastructural deficit in the country with special focus in Power and Energy, Environment and Transport sectors.
We understand that your organization is a “StartUp, you have been at the planning stage for how long now (how many years)?
Trust Synergy could be said to be a startup but has gathered some experience and could be said to have found its bearing since when it was created in 2014.
Starting out, what has your experience been like? What have been your major challenges so far?
As with any other startup’s, Trust Synergy is no different. Major challenge is getting people and Government to understand / see your vision, getting seed investors as well as bureaucratic processes of getting the required documentations and necessary permits/licensing.
What’s the motive behind setting up your organization?
As said earlier, Trust Synergy was set up to help in its own little way to bridge the infrastructural deficit in the country. Realizing that there’s huge deficit and in our quest for development as a nation, the onus is not on government alone, private sector has to come in and assist in bridging the deficit as obtained in other climes.
How has Nigerian Government Policies, or lack of, affected the birth of this company?
The quest by successive government to accelerate infrastructural development in the country gave birth to Trust Synergy.
What policies would you want the Government to focus on to aid the growth of to RE sector?
I think the government in coming up with its policies, it need to make it an all inclusive in the sense that it should be a tripartite policy formation with all relevant stakeholders involvement. For instance, Government has signed an agreement with 14 firms for Solar power generation and it turns out the transmission infrastructure may not be able to carry the power that will added to the grid as well as going back on the agreed amount. This do not tell well of the Government and the Nation as whole. The Government needs to liberalize the transmission infrastructure so that private sector can come in and upgrade the facility so as to meet the year 2030 vision of 60:40 of R E power generation and fossil fuel.
Let’s talk about the attitude of International Investors to funding projects in Nigeria. What has your experience been like?
To be honest, Nigeria RE space is the international investor’s destination. However, the inconsistency in Government sticking and up holding its own part of the bargain is what is making them to developed cold feet, nonetheless, I can say that to a very large extend, International Investors are very much interested in Nigeria and some are already playing in different arms of RE space of the country despite the unstable policies.
You mentioned that you have both on-grid and off-grid projects coming up, please tell us about these:
Yes, we have an on grid project of which we have reached an advanced stage of the developmental technical studies which we are hopeful will be part of the second round of bidding by NBET. We have a captive power for an economic city that is envisage to be largest economic hub in Sub Saharan West Africa, where the developmental studies is about to commence and would arguably be the largest of its kind in Africa.
Do you know of any Solar Company(ies) presently selling to the Grid? Do you see it as a viable business model presently? or in the near future?
I don’t think there’s currently any solar company supplying to the grid due to some of the challenges mentioned earlier, however, a few have gone far in construction. Grid connected is a very viable business now and in the future if we could get it right.
Tell us about the Solar PV Production facility you have in the pipeline. What is the expected Capacity how big is the Target in Nigeria, or does it extend to African market?
Trust Synergy in collaboration with one of its international partners and Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto has signed an MoU for the upgrade and expansion of its existing installed capacity Solar PV production plant of 5mw per annum to 25mw per year as a first phase of the project. It is expected to serve not only Nigerian market but African market as it grows.
How well do you think the local Solar PV production can compete with the Chinese market? Are you expecting the FG to intervene at any point in the nearest future?
Competing with any manufacturer depends on the quality, closeness to the market and confidence of your consumers. We intend to produce high quality, internationally certified and patented products that will compete favorably anywhere in the world.
There appear to be an increased awareness, and adoption of the Off grid solutions in Nigeria, what is the outlook in the next 5/10years?
The outlook is very promising as people are now more aware of the RE as an alternative source of power. Once quality products are being installed and confidence of consumers is earned, the sky is the beginning.
Thanks you Najeeb for your time and insight given to us into the workings of Trust Synergy and Thank You for joining us for this session, and we hope you have learned something yourself.
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