By Adesina Wahab
Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, on Monday inaugurated a 2.5 megawatts Independent Power Project to provide electricity to the institution and its facilities, with the promise to add another 2.5 megawatts in few months’ time.
This is just as the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said the whole of Ekiti State is daily supplied about 8 megawatts of electricity by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC.
Fayemi, who inaugurated the project, noted that the epileptic power supply to the state was not only frustrating, but a big setback for the growth of the state.
“I have to appreciate and acknowledge Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, for being a visionary man. It is a great delight and privilege to be here and I fully identify with this laudable project. Aare Babalola is a pioneer revolutionary in many ways. When he started this university over a decade ago, not many believed it would quickly become a world-class university.
“At an occasion, I was described as the governor of the state where ABUAD is located. Aare Babalola told me about this project about five years ago, and from our own efforts at getting a 5 megawatts IPP, I know the reasons why it has taken this long, as after two years, we are only able to get to the point of agreement.
“This is a great leap forward for the state because with the 5 megawatts by ABUAD and our own 5 megawatts, we will be having more than the 8 megawatts that the state is supplied daily by Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC,” he said.
The Chairman of the occasion, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, described Babalola as a futuristic person.
“I have been an admirer of Aare Afe Babalola since I worked in Ado-Ekiti as a medical doctor over four decades ago. His emphasis on education is worth emulating. It reminds me of former President Thomas Jefferson of the United States who said he would like to be remembered for starting the Virginia University, even though he was a former president and one of the drafters of the American Constitution,” he said.
The Managing Director of Cobota Energy Services, the contractor that handled the IPP project, Mr Charles Obisike, said the project would help the institution attain premium and uninterrupted power supply.
The occasion also included the foundation laying ceremony of nine projects by various individuals including Governor Fayemi, traditional rulers among others.
The Pro-Chancellor, ABUAD, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, who donated his entire library to the university, commended Babalola for his foresight. He described the setting up of nine new projects as a step to further help the country conserve scarce foreign exchange.
The Acting Vice Chancellor of ABUAD, Prof. Smaranda Olarinde, said the university has become a hub for entrepreneurial development.
She noted that the global recognition that the university had got was a result of the doggedness and determination of the founder.