FG Partners Germany in Federal Universities Power Supply Project.
The Federal Government in conjunction with the German Energy Partnership Project on Thursday formally flagged off its independent power supply initiative to all the 40 federauniversities in the country with the Ground-breaking ceremony of a 10-Mega Watts Solar Power Plant at the University of Ibadan.
Performing the ceremony on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Ajibode Extension location of the University of Ibadan, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, described the event as “an historic occasion in the life of the university and of our nation” adding that it is in line with the national energy policy.
“That the project is commencing at the University of Ibadan should not surprise anyone. This is where the story of University education in Nigeria started,” the minister stated. He added the fact that UI, with its huge staff and student population had necessitated a corresponding high energy requirement which is in the region of 6 to 8 Mega Watts.
Anwukah remarked that the Federal Government, in its bid to replicate the gesture to all the 40 federal universities in Nigeria, envisaged that the project should be achieved through the utilization of off-grid Independent Power Plants (IPPs) which falls under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.
He noted that “it was in this respect that the Federal Government, under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, recently launched the Energizing Education Programme Initiative (EEPI), a collaborative effort of the Federal Ministry of Education and Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to ensure self-sufficiency in power to all the 40 Federal Universities in the country.”
The EEPI is aimed at providing reliable power supply which, in turn, will promote economic growth and sustainable development in our Universities, the Minister further clarified.
The minister said further: “This is why the Federal government, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has committed itself to this project with the provision of Funds. It clearly attests to government’s commitment to supporting a robust educational system. The project, when completed, will also ensure the realization of the vision of the University of Ibadan in becoming a world-class University, in the sense that academic activities will be boosted, and ground-breaking researches can be conducted.
“For our universities to be highly rated in Africa and the world, we must have a good research infrastructure, and a provision of energy is very key in the process. The plant will also have the multiplier effect of providing electricity to neighbouring communities. Government is keenly interested in this project, and its timely completion and effective utilization will inform an extension of the project to other Universities. We shall, therefore, be monitoring the progress of the project. It is expected that the faculties of Science and technology and the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law would take advantage of his project to enhance the capacity of their staff, while embarking on further research in renewable energy resources.”
Also speaking at the event, the German ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Bernard Schlagheck, assured that the project, which is a culmination of more than two years of negotiations involving the University of Ibadan, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the German Government, would be completed and ready for commissioning within the next six months.
In attendance at the ground-breaking ceremony were dignitaries including the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole who is also the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan; the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka; as well as the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji Ajeogungunniso I