Germany to build solar plant in UNICAL

Eme Okon

File photo

Germany has pledged to build a 5MW solar energy station in the University of Calabar, Cross River State, southern Nigeria.

The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Barnhard Schlagheck disclosed this when he paid a visit to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Professor Zana Akpagu.

Dr. Schlagheck, who was in the institution for a lecture titled “A German look at West Africa: perspective of German Nigeria Cooperation”, pledged to build an alternative energy source in the university as it did at the University of Ibadan, western Nigeria.

According to Schlagheck, “Germany will build an alternative energy source for the university. There has been concentration in the western part of Nigeria. Our government built a 10MW solar energy plant in the University of Ibadan and we decided to spread our projects to other parts of the country”.

Greater Partnership

The Ambassador, who also commended the Nigerian Government for its fight against insurgency in the north east and militancy in the Niger Delta regions as well as its intervention to quell the political crisis in the Gambia, said it would also provide technical assistance to the Faculty of Engineering.

“Nigeria has done well in providing purposeful leadership for West Africa especially in resolving the Gambia crisis.  Our Government will collaborate with the Nigerian Government to end the insurgency in the eastern part of the country”, stated Schlagheck.

Responding, the Vice Chancellor Professor Zana Akpagu expressed appreciation to the German Ambassador for his government’s decision to build a solar energy plant in the institution.

Professor Akpagu explained that the institution spends about 40 million naira on diesel alone and another 18 million naira in servicing light bills monthly, yet power remained a major challenge to the university.

Akpagu stated “we want your country to assist us in the provision of solar energy. We spend nothing less than 40 million naira to buy diesel and 18 million naira to service electricity bills, when there is no power provided. But, with your support, we will have constant power to run this institution effectively”.

Cultural Affinity

The Vice Chancellor recalled that the institution previously had exchange programmes with some universities in Germany, and sued for a renewed affinity in the area of engineering and cultural exchanges.

“We will like to your government to support us in providing equipment for the new Faculty of Engineering workshops. We also want Germany to assist us in strengthening our German Language program in the Department of Modern Languages. It has not been viable for some time because we do not have regular German teachers in the department”, the Vice Chancellor stressed.

He added “we used to enjoy a cultural and academic affinity with Germany of which I was a beneficiary. That was when we enjoyed a relationship in the area of marine and oceanography studies”.