Vice President Yemi Osibanjo on Friday inaugurated a 2.8 megawatt decentralised solar hybrid power-plant at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, AE-FUNAI, Ebonyi.
Osibanjo, who performed the ceremony in the company of Gov. David Umahi and other top government officials, said that the inauguration fulfilled another next level road-map agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The vice president said that the project would provide sustainable, decentralised energy to the entire campus, improve education and create a better university experience for both students and staff.
“It will supply 7,700 students and 1,819 staff of the university with clean, reliable and affordable electric power.
“We are also commissioning a renewable workshop and training centre and have installed over 7.5 kilomotres of street lighting to enhance security and safety within the FUNAI campus.
“This is an additional component of the remarkable project as the days when our students read at night with candles, lanterns and torches are over,” he said.
He said that the students would also receive hands-on training on renewable energy that could be applied beyond the university’s walls.
The vice president, expressed delight that that the young women, under the Energising Education Programme, EEP female internship, are graduating in the construction of captive power-plant,” Osibanjo said.
Gov. Umahi, in his remark, thanked the Vice President for inaugurating the project, noting that his passion and commitment towards the affairs of the nation was astounding.
“We are collaborating with the Managing Director of the Rural Electricity Agency, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi to expand the project to the neighbouring Ebonyi College of Education and Ikwo local government area headquarters.
“We have also agreed to work with her office in providing solar power to 140 communities across the state,” he said.
The governor noted that the state government had supported FUNAI in several ways through the provision of streetlights, portable water and accessible road.
Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, MD of Rural Electrification Agency, said that the project would result in 8,139,2018 lbs, pounds, of annual carbon dioxide savings.
“Our onsite workshop and training centre will provide training on renewable technology to students of FUNAI and equip them with invaluable knowledge and experience on the power sector,” she said.
Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba, Vice Chancellor of the university, thanked the Vice President for inaugurating the project, describing it as ”the first of its kind in any Nigerian university.
“Your presence is unique in many ways as the project you are commissioning remains a milestone in the history of the university and the county,” he said.
The Osibanjo also inaugurated a physiotherapy centre, 500-seater auditorium, 200 capacity lecture hall and a Lassa Fever Observation Bay, all at the Alex-Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, AE-FUTHA.