FG de­vel­op­ing so­lar en­ergy city, says Fashola

The Punch - - BUSINESS & ECONOMY - Okechukwu Nn­odim, Abuja

THE Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a so­lar en­ergy city, the Min­is­ter of Power, Works and Hous­ing, Ba­batunde Fashola, has said.

Fashola, who did not give de­tails on how the gov­ern­ment was go­ing about the ini­tia­tive, how­ever, stated that the so­lar en­ergy city was be­ing de­vel­oped in Ji­gawa State.

The min­is­ter made the an­nounce­ment in Abuja on Tues­day while in­au­gu­rat­ing the 12-mem­ber Gov­ern­ing Coun­cil of the Fed­eral School of Sur­vey, Oyo State.

Fashola told mem­bers of the gov­ern­ing coun­cil that Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari had ear­lier in the year stated that his gov­ern­ment would re­build the coun­try’s in­fra­struc­ture, adding that it was the duty of sur­vey­ors to help ac­tu­alise this tar­get.

The min­is­ter said, “Let me go back to what Mr. Pres­i­dent said in his New Year ad­dress when he re­it­er­ated the com­mit­ment to re­build Nige­ria’s in­fra­struc­ture. The in­fra­struc­ture that we need to build is enor­mous. It re­quires land and sur­veys in some places where they have not been done yet, for rail, road, bridges, hous­ing and for power as­sets.

“So sur­vey­ing will, there­fore, be very crit­i­cal to achiev­ing the ob­jec­tives set out in our Eco­nomic Re­cov­ery and Growth Plan. We have been try­ing to de­velop a so­lar en­ergy city in Ji­gawa State and one of the out­stand­ing is­sues that we have apart from the EIA (En­vi­ron­ment Im­pact As­sess­ment) is the sur­vey.”

On why sur­vey­ing was sig­nif­i­cant for ac­tu­al­is­ing the ERGP, Fashola said, “Be­fore you can build or es­tab­lish a road, you need a right of way, and what is that? Sur­vey! Be­fore you can build a trans­mis­sion tower or line from one point to the other, you need to carve out a right of way and this is also sur­vey.

“Be­fore you can start a hous­ing scheme, you need a land and you have to lay out the in­fra­struc­ture plan. Now, on what will you do this if you don’t have a map? So, in essence what is that? It is sur­vey. If you want to catch those who are dis­turb­ing us and caus­ing us prob­lems on se­cu­rity fronts and you want to fly a plane or he­li­copter, then you will need co­or­di­nates to ac­tu­alise this.”

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