Facility to generate N7b yearly, 1,000 to be employed
In a bid to make the Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) a solution-oriented institution, the school has commissioned its five megawatts Independent Power Project (IPP), and as well, the foundation laying stone of nine other projects that are geared towards benefiting humanity.
Yesterday, 2.5 megawatts of the five megawatts project was commissioned.
The event, which held at the Alfa Belgore Hall of the school, yesterday, attracted a host of dignitaries, including former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni; Prof. Tunde Adeniran, former Minister of Education and Pro-Chancellor of the school. It also had traditional rulers from Ekiti, Ondo and Ogun states in attendance.
The Osemawe and paramount ruler of Ondo Kingdom, Oba (Dr.) Victor Kiladejo, Jilo III, was chairman of occasion.
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi commended Aare Afe Babalola on his effort at lighting up Ekiti State.
He said: “Aare Afe Babalola is an uncommon gift to us in Ekiti State and Nigeria by extension and the globe also by extension and no amount of encomium and adulation would be enough in appreciating how much of the gift he is to us in Ekiti.
“This institution is fast becoming a state within a state, because when you have an independent power project, water project, secondary school, different components in the farm, a hospital, which I regard as the best in the country, I go everywhere promoting it. You understand why I said we have a state within a state.”
While noting that the state has begun the process of generating its own power supply, the governor lamented the darkness in the communities these past 10 years.
He said under the Benin Electricity Development Company (BEDC), the state used to have eight megawatts, but the coming of the university’s five megawatts and another five from the state project, there would be improvement.
Speaking at the ground-breaking event, the school’s founder, Babalola, said ABUAD Industrial Park is the “most promising and realistic economic development enterprise embarked upon by any organisation since Ekiti State was created in 1996. The estimated capital cost of the First Phase is N50 billion. The raw materials are available locally. The yearly revenue is between N7 billion and N10 billion. Above all, it will provide employment for over 1,000 people.”
“This is another accomplishments like no other, as it offers not only the prospect of interrupted electricity supply for research, learning and scientific advancement here at ABUAD, but will at the same time deliver unprecedented economic opportunities for the community as well,” said the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Smaranda Olarinde.
She said, “A modern world-class university should therefore never be in darkness. The IPP project that we are commissioning today will light up the university, light up laboratories, illuminate our minds, light up our community and capabilities to fulfil our research mission efficiently and effectively.
“The IPP project is undoubtedly another fulfilment of our promise to continually provide a world class and serene environment for our students to learn, innovate and become the best.”
At the event, Adeniran donated his private library for the promotion of a reading culture in the larger society.