Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has urged the first set of graduates of solar technology from the International Vocational, Technical and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC), Ajase-ipo, to take up the business passionately as a means of creating wealth for themselves and conserving the environment.
The governor gave the charge at the graduation ceremony of the 25 indigene beneficiaries of Riccofortezza-Asteven Energy Limited scholarship at the College in Ajase-Ipo on Friday.
Riccofortezza-Asteven Energy Limited is one of the two companies handling the Light-Up Kwara (LUK) project in the State.
The governor further urged the graduands to put into practice the skills they have acquired as well as make judicious use of the N1million startup package they got from the company.
He, however, lamented that Nigeria had relied on limited source of energy for so long and as such, it has not taken advantage of the development in solar energy that is going on around the world. He added that this has brought about limited opportunities in the country.
He noted that one of the ways a country can grow is through Energy creativity and innovation. He added that with the level of unemployment in the country, government at all levels need to create opportunities for empowerment.
Also, the governor assured that after the ongoing installation of solar powered streetlights in different parts of the metropolis, solar energy will further be deployed to power existing infrastructure like hospitals, offices, homes and villages. He disclosed that the initiative will be driven under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
He further assured that his administration will continue to make funds available for startups to grow to desirable levels in the State.
The Governor, therefore commended Riccofortezza-Asteven Energy Limited for the empowerment and called on other contractors, corporate bodies, organisations and well-meaning individuals to emulate Riccofortezza-Asteven Energy Limited by sponsoring students for training at IVTEC or endow departments of the College.
In his address, the Chairman, Asteven Group, Dr. Sunny Akpoyibo congratulated the graduands for their interest in green economy and urged them to exploit opportunities therein to become employers of labour. He also appreciated the State government for the opportunity to extend his company’s Corporate Social Responsibility to the State.
Responding, a representative of the graduands, Mr Oluwaseun Ajibola, thanked the State government and Riccofortezza-Asteven Energy Limited for the opportunity and promised to make judicious use of the investment made in them to impact more lives and be contributors to the economy.