By Bukola Olamona
In its bid to address the challenge of power generation in the country, a team of international experts is partnering with the Centre for Renewable Energy Technology (CRET) FUTA to develop capacity for technology in rural hydropower systems.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative and commencement of a 10 day train the trainers’ workshop at the institution, the team leader, Head, Capacity Development, GIZ, Mr. Felix Nitz, emphasized the uniqueness of the training saying the project has the support of notable local and international organizations which include the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) Nigerian Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (REEEP), the European Union, the Federal Government of Germany and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
He said that FUTA had great potentials of solving the power problems of Nigeria and commended CRET FUTA for its courage and doggedness as the first host of the training in Nigerian, among the other six institutions that were selected. Nitz said that the aim of the workshop was to enhance knowledge of the potentials of hydropower and also create job opportunities to enable trainers earn a livelihood while developing capacity within the country. , Nitz pledged support for CRET with equipment and manpower that will make it the center for hydropower development in Nigeria.
Director, CRET, Professor Olurinde Lafe said the hydropower system experts are in FUTA as an integral part of the solution to Nigeria’s energy problem. He said hydropower is underutilized in Nigeria and lamented that despite the numerous gas and hydropower plants Nigeria still has the challenge of power distribution, emphasizing the need for small scale power distribution to the nook and cranny of the country.
Professor Lafe said FUTA through CRET is the first institution to partner with international experts on developing power for rural areas.
He said the aim of the training programme was to enlighten trainers who will train others on the vast resources available in the country and how to tap into it and develop the various energy sources.
Declaring the workshop open, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, who was represented by the University Librarian, Dr. Femi Oguntuase, said the incessant power problems in the country require urgent attention and renewable energy plays a crucial and strategic role in resolving Nigeria’s energy problem.