Commissioning Of Energizing Education Programme In Bayero University Kano
SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE LAUNCH OF THE ‘ENERGIZING EDUCATION’ PROGRAMME, BAYERO UNIVERSITY KANO, ON TUESDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER, 2019
I’m excited to be here today at the BUK [Bayero University, Kano], a university which we in academia regard as a refreshing bastion of revolutionary thinking and ideas.
In my days as Professor of Law at the University of Lagos, we always invited the radical professors from BUK to come and energise our university debates, and so I’m extremely pleased to be here today at the very centre of that revolutionary activity. But this occasion is yet another milestone in the fulfilment of Mr. President’s Next Level roadmap agenda here at Bayero University.
BUK is the second of the 37 Federal Universities and 7 Teaching Hospitals to benefit from the Energizing Education Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria. This particular facility includes a solar hybrid power plant, a renewable energy workshop, and a training centre, and a solar-powered streetlighting project as well.
Notably today, we are also commissioning the largest off-grid solar hybrid power plant in the whole of Africa. This is something we as Nigerians should be very proud of. But this was only possible because various levels of government worked together with the growing renewable energy private sector. I congratulate in particular, the Honourable Minister of Power, and all of those who participated in making this happen.
The installed 7.1MW decentralised solar hybrid power plant, funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Green Bond will supply, as we’re told, over 58,000 students and staff with clean, safe and reliable electricity. I’m sure that the entire student body and management and staff of Bayero University are proud to be beneficiaries of this, especially as the only Federal University in Kano State and one of the longstanding ones. As a result, students can now focus on their academics and vocational training in a safer and in an illuminated environment.
This significant initiative upholds the Federal Government’s adherence to global best practices as we transition to cleaner sources of energy in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
These products that we’re implementing across universities being done by the REA [Rural Electrification Agency] are strategic to the fulfilment of our commitments to the Paris Agreement as they strive to reduce Nigeria’s carbon footprint.
The leveraging of renewable energy technologies is in line with the Federal Government’s mandate and all of our related activities. Nigeria’s plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 20% unconditionally and 45% with international support by 2030 aims to limit the damaging effects of climate change. Our policy objectives under the Energizing Education programme in this administration’s Next Level roadmap remains the same. The ultimate goal is to increase access to modern technical education in a safe and illuminated environment, to empower the girl child, to create jobs in the power sector, and of course, to enhance the entire power value chain.
This remarkable solar hybrid power plant that we are commissioning today is already on its way to bringing these goals and objectives to fruition.
Thus far, the project, we are told, has created about 182 energy-related jobs from the power system engineers, to electricians, as well of course as the training of 20 young female stem students with the skills to contribute to strengthening our energy sector. It is initiatives like this that create the impact for Nigeria’s socioeconomic growth. But I must also mention that our focus on off-grid power and willing-buyer-willing-seller arrangements in their various varieties is an acknowledgement of the fact that we cannot expect that the national grid can, on its own, provide Nigeria’s huge power needs. Our strategy must be to exploit microgrids, especially renewable energy grids, where we have obviously a comparative advantage.
Before I leave, I would like to appreciate again everyone who has made this project possible, from the EPC contractor Metka, to the REA. My commendation also must go to the Ministry of Power and the Ministry of Environment for supplying the resources to make this happen. Your policies and their implementation have led us all to this very big moment.
I must also congratulate Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi and her dynamic, young team. To the management and staff of Bayero University, I want to thank you also for collaborating with the various government agencies and the private sector contractor on this project. I charge you to take ownership of these facilities for sustainability.
In closing, please not that this is just one touch point of progress and impact within this administration’s agenda. The Federal Government is committed to powering Nigeria one university, one market, one community at a time. I also bring you the very very warm greetings and congratulations of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Thank you very much for listening and God bless you all.