Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo has commissioned a 2.8 MW decentralised solar hybrid power plant at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo in Ebonyi State.
Osinbajo said the project was to energise the education program of the Federal Government towards having a conducive learning environment in Nigerian Universities in the next four years.
He noted that the project was the first to be commissioned out of the 37 federal universities and 7 teaching hospitals across the federation, adding that the project would supply 7,700 students and 1,819 staff of the university with clean, reliable and affordable electricity.
The project, he added, would provide sustainable decentralised energy to the entire campus, improve education and create a better university experience for both students and staff.
He said the days were gone when students read at night with candles, lanterns and torches.
His words: “Our young people are willing to learn and they have great aspirations. It is our duty to aid them to accomplish their goals by providing a conducive learning environment for them.
“I am glad to be part of this great feat as we commission this 2.8 MW decentralised solar hybrid power plant that will supply 7,700 students and 1,819 staff of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), with clean, reliable and affordable electric power.
“We are also commissioning a renewable workshop/training centre to promote renewable energy training and installed over 7.5km of street lighting to enhance security and safety within FUNAI campus.
“Our students will also receive hands-on training on renewable energy which can be applied beyond the walls of this university.
“This multi-beneficial project is the first to be commissioned of the 37 federal universities and 7 teaching hospitals that this administration will implement under its energizing education program in the next four years.”
Osinbajo also said the project created 108 energy-related jobs from power system engineering, adding that 20 female students of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Udufu Alike Ikwo were part of the project.
“This project created 108 energy related jobs from power system engineers to electricians and as stated earlier, trained 20 young women with skills to work in the energy sector anywhere in the world,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, who expressed happiness over the project, spoke of his willingness to partner with the Federal Government to expand the solar power project.
“When I came here and saw a lot of projects in this university, I was so happy. I thank Mr. President and you. I must thank your efforts and that of Mr. President for stabilising this country. Those who are not in the position would not understand.
“I will like to partner with the Federal Government to expand this project so that the college of education in this place and the local government area will benefit from it. We are targeting 140 communities to enjoy the solar power. We need power and it is very important,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Chinedu Nwanjuba urged the Federal Government to help make the school environment more conducive for learning.