By Nicholas Esekhile
Efforts of the Federal Government to ensure stable power supply has received a major boost with the commissioning of the country’s first 2.8MW solar hybrid power plant.
The project which was commissioned by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo in Ebonyi State, is expected to provide clean-generated power for 1,819 staff members and 7,700 students at the university.
The project falls under the Energising Education Programme (EEP) of the Federal Government of Nigeria which was implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
According to the REA Managing Director, Damilola Ogunbiyi, the programme will surely boost the quality of education, research, and health care services in Federal Universities and Teaching Hospitals in the country. “I really commend the women for the role they have played in the successful implementation of this power project. From the head of the project who is a woman to the female STEM students that worked on the project,” he added.
According to her, the programme is a federal government’s intervention focused on developing off-grid, dedicated and independent power plants, as well as rehabilitating existing distribution infrastructure to supply clean and reliable power to 37 federal universities and seven affiliated university teaching hospitals.
She also said that apart from this plant, other projects to be commissioned at the event include the launch of 7.5KM of solar-powered street lights for illumination and safety, as well as a world-class renewable training centre. Ogunbiyi explained that the programme which had active female participation towards its realization will improve the quality of education, research and healthcare services in federal universities and teaching hospitals.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Odusote Abimbola stated that the programme is a show of commitment by the Federal Government to preserve the environment and reverse the catastrophic effects of climate change; which is already having terrible effects on the environment.