July 25, 2021

KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER ON THE COMMISSIONING OF DESIGN AND INSTALLATION OF SOLAR PV AND MICRO-GRID POWER SYSTEM FOR FEDERAL MINISTRY OF  WORKS AND HOUSING, MABUSHI, ABUJA, ON TUESDAY, 6TH JULY , 2021

Your Excellency Mr. President, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of my colleague, the Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engineer Abubakar D. Aliyu, the serving and previous Permanent Secretaries, serving and previous directors and members of staff of the Ministry of Works and Housing, I am delighted to welcome you to this commissioning ceremony.

This project was approved by the Federal Executive Council on the 20th  March 2019 at the time when the Ministry of Power was part of Works and Housing. I express our Ministry’s appreciation to members of the Federal Executive Council who voted to entrust our Ministry with this project.

What we have delivered, based on the mandate of the Federal Executive Council, is a 1.52 MegaWatts Solar System that will provide uninterrupted power supply to 5 blocks housing the Ministry of Works and Housing and Ministry of Environment and Lands.

This project employed 382 artisans and 176 skilled workers throughout its duration, in fulfilment of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of creating jobs.

It would see to the reduction of average diesel consumption from 764,248 litres per annum to 166,825 litres per annum and cost saving of NGN270,945,000 over 20 years and contribute towards the reduction of government operational expenses and reduction of recurrent expenditure.

It has led to the upgrade and retrofitting of our electrical appliances by replacing 400 old Air-conditioning units with 400 new inverter-based energy efficient Air-conditioning units and replacing 2600 old light fittings with energy efficient LED ones all of which are energy saving because they consume 40% less energy.

In terms of local content…

Our contract engages 5 (Five) STEM candidates to work throughout the solar PV lifecycle of this project in the following roles:

  1. Two (2) candidates got trained in engineering design;
  2. Two (2) candidates got trained in project construction;
  3. One candidate got trained in engineering project management.

With this investment we have built our own Mini-Grid, in consonance with our Administration’s policy to promote off grid option, thereby making more of the on-grid power available to ordinary Nigerians who cannot afford the cost of investing in off-grid power.

To our contractor, I express deep appreciation for the efficient execution and more importantly for the sacrifice to complete this project in spite of the wide disparity between the foreign exchange rates in 2019 when the project was awarded and now, notwithstanding high importation costs of the parts.

Permit me sir, to also acknowledge two young people who were part of this project at different stages from inception to completion.

Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi and Engr. Femi Akinyelure, whom your Excellency appointed to the Rural Electrification Agency both of whom, with their colleagues, were involved in the energy audit and design of this project.

They represent the positive impact of youth involvement in public service; and of course, I cannot forget Engr. Julius Olurinola, our Director of Engineering Services, whose role I liken to that of a midwife, supervising, monitoring and reporting the progress of this project from incubation to delivery.

All I need now say is that other government buildings can follow this path and our team will be most enthusiastic to provide the support, and share our experiences and lessons learned, working with the Ministry of Power.

Your Excellency Mr. President, I have the pleasure to now invite you sir, to perform the official commissioning of the 1.52 MegaWatts Solar Power project to provide uninterrupted power to your staff in the Ministry of Works and Housing and Environment to improve their working conditions.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN

Honourable Minister of Works and Housing