MINISTER FOR POWER, WORKS AND HOUSING STORMS AE-FUNAI
Monday, 20th May, 2019, will forever be a memorable day in Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ebonyi State, as the Honorable Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola paid a visit to the University in a grand style, to inspect the on-going Independent one Mega Watt Solar Plant Project under the umbrella of Integrated Power Project (IPP) birthed by the President’s approval of the Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan (SESIP). AE-FUNAI is one of the only two Universities selected in the South-East for the first phase of this project.
Receiving the honorable minister at the university ‘air field’, where the chopper which conveyed the minister touched the AE-FUNAI ground to the fascination of the university community who turned out en masse to receive the Minister; Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba affirmed his commitment to collaborate with the Engineers and students to ensure a speedy and smooth workflow, adding that it is one of the policies for climate change management.
Honorable Fashola stated that this is one of the policies for intervention approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, for Rural Electrification Strategic Implementation Plan. He made this statement while briefing the press at the solar village in AE-FUNAI, emphasising that government has plans to electrify 37 Universities and AE-FUNAI is one of them to benefit from the first nine, mapped out to be completed this year.
This is a one mega solar plant for the university which comes with 8 kilo meters of lighting. He further affirmed that they are in the last phase of implementation and the policies that have been inaugurated since the privatization of the power policy, are beginning to take foothold so important that Nigerians understand them.
He assured staff and students that the project is in a few weeks to closure and when this is done, the President will come to commission and as well switch it on.
The minister affirmed that the policy is targeted at education to make sure that all Federal Universities have their own power plants involving students in the process of development to form part of their learning so that they can maintain and do even better things when they leave school. He pronounced that this administration has been re-elected for another four year term for a sense of continuity of policy as one of the things embedded in the programs from the beginning was to involve the students so that maintenance of the plant can be carried out by the university students themselves following teaching and training facility delivered within the university.
The honorable minister opined that there is need to continuously educate the rural community on the need to generate power using waste.Highlight of the event was tree planting by the honorable minister in support of the campus Green Initiative of Professor Nwajiuba’s vision for ‘campus in a garden’. The minister requested that the tree be nurtured and his name tagged on it.
Many of the staff and students who trooped out to receive the minister expressed their profound excitement for the historical landing of an airplane in the university for the first time.