As part of efforts to boost education by the federal government, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, yesterday, kick-started the process of building one mega watt capacity solar farm at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State.
The University is one of the first nine Federal universities that are benefiting from the programme, which is meant to provide reliable, sustainable and environmental friendly power for all federal universities and teaching hospitals in Nigeria.
While addressing the University Management, the Programme Manager, Energizing Education Programme, Bar. Anita Otubu noted that the programme which has a completion date of nine months was geared towards providing reliable, affordable and renewable energy for the 37 federal universities and all the teaching hospitals in Nigeria.
She added that the project when completed would power the entire university community and its surrounding communities, enhance learning process, facilitate teaching and research and other online academic activities as well as promote security of lives and property in the university.
Otubu also stated that during the construction phase of the project, the contractor has been directed to facilitate the participation and training of 20 female students of the university who are in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This according to her was to provide them with hands-on experiences in their respective disciplines.
Speaking also during the event, the representative of Department for Infrastructural Development (DFID), a key partner in the programme, Professor Chidiebere Onyia noted that they were in the university to take-over the project site, which signals the official commencement of the project in the university.
He added that the project was an integrative process that would lead to the production of renewable energy to energize educational activities in the university.
Onyia explained that the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State were the two federal universities in the southeast, Nigeria, chosen for the first phase of the Energizing Education programme.
Expressing his gratitude to the federal government for choosing the university as one of the first beneficiaries of the power project, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba promised to ensure that all hands remain on deck for the speedy completion of the project.
“I will provide the necessary support and do whatever it takes to make this project to succeed”, he stated.
He further noted: “We are a new university trying to do something differently”, adding that he was very particular about the quality of solar light, urging the contractor to ensure they deliver enduring works.