The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said the Energizing Education Programme (EEP), launched by the federal government in 2016, aims at improving the lives of community dwellers and boosting their businesses and by that check rural-urban drift in addition to solving the power challenges of 37 Federal Universities and Teaching Hospitals.
He has also denied that the project being handled by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has been put on hold or suffered any form of setback as bandied in some sections of the media.
Fashola said the project has already secured the necessary approvals and permits from the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC) and fully on course to be delivered this year as planned.
The Minister, in a statement, said Nigerians would benefit immensely from the project, describing it as a game changer.
He stated: “The EEP is to provide off grid captive power plants for 37 federal universities and seven university teaching hospitals, across the six geo-political zones. The programme will also provide street lights to ensure safety for students, staff and visitors of the institutions; rehabilitate, strengthen and extend the existing distribution networks; develop and operate training centres to train and certify students in courses related to renewable energy; and distribute power to surrounding communities in the second tier of each phase as a strategy for rural electrification, subsequently resulting in an increase of economic activity within those communities and general well being”, the Minister explained.
He added that EEP also ensures Nigeria adheres to her obligations under the Paris Agreement, through the promotion of renewable and cleaner energy technology, towards reduction of hazardous emissions.
“From the programme design, the EEP Phase 1 Projects will be financed by the Federal Government and this follows energy audits that were conducted for all the federal universities and the adjoining University Teaching Hospitals across the country to determine the energy consumption and future load growth of each of the institutions.”