Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, virtually inaugurated a 1.12 Megawatt(MW) Captive Solar Hybrid Power Plant at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, according to a statement by Laolu Akande, his Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
Performing the inauguration, the vice president said that Nigeria’s energy transition plan to renewables was well on course.
He described the solar plant as being in line with the globally endorsed Climate Change agenda and the Federal Government’s effort to connect more communities to off-grid power and reliable energy sources.
The project, executed under the Energising Education Programme (EEP), an initiative of the Federal Government aimed at providing 37 Federal Universities and seven Teaching Hospitals, with captive energy solutions, would ensure sustainable and reliable power for the institutions.
“Renewables are the fastest growing segment of energy today and will certainly be a key economic driver well into the future. Indeed, Nigeria intends to have 30 per cent of its electricity supply from renewables by the year 2030.
“Our future workforce, therefore, needs to be ready for this energy transition; the training centers constitute a critical additional benefit of this project.
“These projects, being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency, are strategic to fulfilling our commitments to the agreement as they strive to reduce Nigeria’s carbon footprint.
“The leveraging of renewable energy technology is in line with the Federal Government’s mandate and related activities.
“Nigeria’s plan to reduce carbon emission by 20 per cent unconditionally, and 45 per cent with international support by 2030, aims to limit the damaging effect of climate change.”
On the benefits of the EEP, Osinbajo said that 22,000 students and faculties across the country had been connected to completed projects in Kano, Ebonyi, Benue and Bauchi.
He said that apart from providing a reliable source of captive power for the institutions, each institution would have a renewable energy workshop and a training centre to provide training for students on renewable energy.
“The project also entails the installation of street lights and the electro fitting of existing ones for better illumination and provision of security on the campus and its environs.
“And there is provision for on-the-job training for 20 female students undergoing STEM courses in the beneficiary institutions. The training focuses on the design and installation of various components of the project,” he said.
He commended the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) for its hard work and resourcefulness in the implementation of the programme.
Osinbajo urged the agency to redouble its efforts in rolling out the Energising Education Programme with speed and quality across the country.
Meanwhile, the vice president has presided over the inaugural meeting of the Cabinet Committee, for the Review of the Draft National Transport Policy, whose terms of reference included, among others, determining which ministry or agency should have the statutory authority to administer tolls on Nigeria’s roads.
“And to determine the appropriate roles of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Ministry of Works and Housing vis a vis the Ministry of Transportation in respect of the Road Fund proposed by the policy.”
Members of the committee comprised the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, and Budget and National Planning Minister of State, Clem Agba, who represented the Finance Minister.