Energy Commission of Nigeria to Collaborate with the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State, on Renewable Energy

The Director General of Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof. E. J. Bala, 23rd September,2020 received the Vice Chancellor of Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State, Prof. Armayau Hamisu Bichi at the headquarters of the Commission.

According to Prof. Armaya’u, he and his team were at the Energy Commission of Nigeria to interact with the DG/CEO and his management purposely to look for collaboration and assistance. He informed the Director General that the University is a new University established in the year 2012 by the then administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure equity and access to learning especially in tertiary education. According to him, “when we came on board we established a Center for Renewable Energy to look at the issue of afforestation, deforestation, lack of Energy, simpler Energy or Renewable Energy in the households where poverty is high and the people don’t have enough money to buy Energy that can sustain them; but they rely on cutting of trees and other means to get their Energy. So, we established the Center so that we can look into and do research for efficient and effective utilization of energy that can help and not harm the society, which is cheap and more accessible to the local people especially rural women and other small income households”. He maintained that the Centre was founded in 2019 and realizing the enormous potentials of ECN in the area of renewable energy, he decided in the last three months to have a collaboration with ECN so that the Commission can assist the University in training of staff, providing technical assistance and any other support that can be beneficial to the Center to enhance the livelihood of rural women and other household, which will in turn increase their income, create wealth and also cater for other things that may simplify their lives. According to the Vice Chancellor, “in the far north where Katsina State is located which borders the Sahara especially the northern-southern part of Niger Republic, there is less rainfall, the people rely much on cutting trees so I think with your collaboration and assistance, you will be able to help us more on renewable energy. There is water from the dam where they can harness energy for hydroelectric, we have sunlight where we can get energy for solar, and we have strong wind where we can get energy from wind and a lot of other things”.

The Director, Center for Renewable Energy of the University, Dr. Umar Aliyu added his voice to that of the Vice Chancellor by requesting for collaboration in the areas of carbon energy research, the building of a state-of-the-art complex to be named after President Muhammadu Buhari as the Renewable Energy Complex. He also sought for assistance in the provision of motorized boreholes and street lights as well as the training of NYSC corps members, so that the staff and students can benefit.

In response, the Director General ECN expressed his warm welcome to the Vice Chancellor for the visit and prayed for a successful tenure. He appealed to the Management of the University to support the Vice Chancellor to succeed in the line of duty as his success will also be theirs.

According to the Director General, “I have had a very excellent working relationship here with my team in ECN and I believe with your visit here we will exchange new ideas that will be beneficial. I want to commend you, Mr. Vice Chancellor, for your initiative to open a Center for Renewable Energy. As I did mention, Energy is important and Renewable Energy is the way to go and you opening a Center for Renewable Energy indicate that you are conscious of the importance of Energy not to be disruptive. I want to assure you that from my own end of the Commission, we will do all we could to support you within our mandate and I am sure you have gone through the mandate of Energy Commission of Nigeria. You have seen what we do and what the law says we should be doing and what we are actually doing. Specifically, in terms of promoting sustainable energy, ECN is on record that we have promoted the development of Renewable Energy in this country right from the early 90s and we are happy that even the main Ministries are opening department of renewables and even tertiary institution are opening department of renewable and Centers. For us to make informed recommendation to government we have established our six Research Centers and this Research Centers are University based; one in each of the six geo-political zones.We have Sokoto Energy Research Center for the Northwest. That is not to say that you will not get support from ECN. The others are National Center for Energy Research and Development based in UNN for the South-East; there is the one based in University of Lagos, National Center for Energy Efficiency and Conservation for South-West and we have one in the South-South that is in University of Benin, National Center for Energy and Environment and then, the National Center For Hydropower Development that is at the University of llorin. The last but not the least is the one in ATBU, Bauchi, National Center for Petroleum Research and Development for North-East. So these are the Centers in our quest to promote energy particularly Renewable Energy”.

The DG ECN thanked the Vice Chancellor and his team for the visit and expressed his belief that this is going to be the beginning of a new cooperation between the University and Energy Commission and that the sky will be the limit in the collaboration. He also admonished the Vice Chancellor to explore other institutions before going back, such as the Rural Electrification Agency and the Ministry of Power.

The Vice Chancellor formally presented the collaboration proposal to the Commission and used the opportunity to congratulate the Director General on his 66th birthday on behalf of the Council, Staff and students of Federal University, Dutsin-ma, Katsina State. In turn, the Director General presented some of the Commission’s publications to the management of the University.

© 2020

(L-R) The Director General, Energy Commission of Nigeria Prof E. J. Bala and Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Dutsin Ma Katsina, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi.

The Vice Chancellor, Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi stressing a point at the event

Director General, Prof E. J. Bala making his remarks while the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bichi applauds

The Director General, Prof E. J. Bala receiving the collaboration proposal from the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi

Cross Section of the Management Staff with the visiting team from the University

The Director General, Prof. E. J. Bala presenting some publications of the Commission to the Vice Chancellor Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi

Group photograph by the visiting team and the Management of Energy Commission of Nigeria