The Federal Government in conjunction with the German Energy Partnership Project yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo State, formally flagged off its independent power supply initiative to all the 40 federal universities in the country with the ground-breaking ceremony of a 10-megawatts 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, Professor Anthony Gozie Anwukah described the event as “an historic occasion in the life of the university and of our nation,” adding that it was 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, adding that the University of Ibadan, with its huge staff and student population, needed six to eight megawatts of electricity.
The Minister remarked that the Federal Government, in its bid to replicate the gesture in all the 40 federal universities in Nigeria, envisaged that this should be achieved through the utilization of off-grid Independent Power Plants (IPPs) which falls under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.
“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,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the German ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Bernard Schlagheck assured that the project, 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.