By Akanimo Sampson
The University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), is agog with joy as the institution has created a cash-spinning opportunity for the army of unemployed youths in the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday reported that the university set a new record of electricity generation by using organic waste to install 100KVA Refuse Drived Fuel (RDF) gasification plant for its Nsukka Campus.
For the jubilant university community, the plant will create employment for many people through supplying of waste to the institution or other people who will be using the plant. Some varsity staff, according to NAN described the innovation as one of the greatest legacies of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba.
UNN is however, a federal university in Nsukka, Enugu State, Eastern Nigeria. It was founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1955 and formally opened on October 7, 1960. It has three campuses – Nsukka, Enugu, and Ituku-Ozalla – all located in Enugu State.
The university was the first full-fledged indigenous and first autonomous university in Nigeria, modelled upon the American educational system. It is the first land-grant university in Africa and one of the five elite universities in Nigeria.
The pace-setting UNN has 15 faculties and 102 academic departments, and offers 82 undergraduate programmes and 211 postgraduate programmes.]
The university celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 2010.
Meanwhile, the vice-chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, who expressed happiness over the project during its inauguration, said the university will no longer be a customer to Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
While saying that the project was the first of its kind in Nigeria and described it as another feather added to the cap of the institution, he added, ‘’I am happy that the university under my watch has witnessed innovations and transformation, as today another feather has been added to the cap of my administration.
‘’This is the first of its kind in the country; using of waste to generate electricity. By the time more of the plants are produced that will cover every part of the university, millions of naira will be saved every month, as UNN will longer pay monthly electricity bill to EEDC.’’
Prof. Benjamin Ozumba also commended the Prof Emenike Ejiogu-led research team that produced the RDF gas plant. And in his remark, Ejiogu from the Department of Electrical Engineering, applauded the vice-chacellor for his belief of making record-breaking innovations to transform the premier institution.
‘’The 100 KVA RDF project is designed and fabricated by laboratory of industrial power devices and energy system under special grant by Ozumba. The aim is to enable UNN to generate its own electricity with organic waste that will serve as fuel’’, he said.
The Japan-trained engineer said his research team was set to produce 250KVA plants, which will supply the energy need of the entire university and its environs, pointing out, ‘’UNN power demand now is 3mgwats, so with twelve 250KVA of RDF plants, we will meet electricity supply need of the university.’’
He said on request, his research team was ready to install the RDF plants to any individual, company or office who needed it: ‘’It is cheaper and can carry more loads than solar energy installation. With RDF plant in your house or office, it will carry your air-condition, deep freezers, pressing iron and other things in your house, office or company,” he said.
Ejiogu listed some of the organic waste that could be used as waste materials to power the plant to include: agricultural byproducts such as corn husks, wood chips among others.