In an exclusive interview held with Pulse recently, the self-taught scientist, whose impressive work took six years of relentless research says he has what it takes to fix Nigeria’s longstanding power issues in just two years.
Sometime in June, a certain Nigerian, 33-year-old Alabi Olusola, came to public consciousness for an absolutely positive reason – he had successfully come up with a way to generate electricity from potatoes.
The idea of generating power from potatoes is not totally new. Yeah. Just run a search on Google, you’ll find several articles and videos on the subject, with some dated 2013 or earlier.
This, however, does not take away from what Alabi has achieved here, and it is more remarkable, really, when you consider the fact that he is not university educated.
During the interview, Alabi, who is an indigene of Ogbomosho, Oyo State, reveals that after the news of his research got out, he has been contacted by several institutions abroad- Germany, Denmark. Finland, China, to name a few- who are impressed by the work he is doing.
Unsurprisingly, despite the numerous contacts from other countries, no institution in Nigeria, corporate, educational, or governmental, has reached out to the self-taught scientist.“The only calls I’ve had were from people who wanted to know how much it’d cost to have this technology generating electricity in their homes,” he says
However, the scientist is more concerned with solving the pressing issue in the country. According to him, “Necessity is the mother of good invention… The first thing that motivated me [is] the lack of electricity in the country. [Where] I was living before, for good eight months, there [was no light.]”
He says he is a firm believer in the fact that all problems have solutions. That, coupled with a sharp inquisitive mind led him into several attempts at power generation which included research with waste, plantains, and finally, potatoes.
Having successfully gotten a working formula at the beginning of the year, Alabi Olusola wants nothing more than to assist in putting an end to the ever-present power issues in the country.
“My major aim is, let me do this thing for Nigerians. Let’s think of what we can do for ourselves. There are lot of things we can do in this country to generate light.
"If I get funds… if I am given the opportunity to sit with anybody in power, I’ll tell them, I know what we can do in this country, that within two years, the whole country will have [uninterrupted power supply], I can say it in front of anybody, I’ll [show] them how we can generate unending electricity in 24 months.”He however recognizes the difficulty in getting those in the corridors of power to stir themselves and give heed to what he has to offer the country
“I know if I tell them now, they’ll say, 'Oh don’t mind him' but if they don’t mind me I know people abroad will soon come. But this is our land, [let’s make it work]" he says.
When asked, as a parting shot, to state his most dire need, he was quite unequivocal in his response:
“The number one thing I need is [assistance. It doesn’t need to be from the government, it could be from private organizations. This thing needs to be created on a large scale for it to have the desired effect.] That’s the major thing”
What do you think?