By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has said that the rural electrification is important to his administration, stating that he was ready to partner with Austria on renewable energy, especially in power generation from dams in the State.
Makinde made the state while receiving a delegation from the Austrian Embassy led by Commercial Counsellor at the Austrian Embassy, Mr. Guido Stock, who paid a courtesy visit to his office.
The Governor stated that his administration was committed to developing the rural areas in the state by providing electricity and accessible road networks to all the length and breadth of the State.”
He said, “When I was informed about this courtesy visit on a talk regarding renewable energy, especially on power generation from some of our dams around Oyo State, I felt elated as someone who studied Engineering.
“It was like being teased by something one really loves. So, I quickly accepted the visitation.
“We are very much interested in developing our rural areas and providing electricity in those places; providing road access to the rural communities and it is one of the areas through which we feel we can expand our economy.
“So, I guess after this meeting, we can meet again to discuss privately on the projects.
“We are very much interested in looking through this proposal. I know Austria for skiing. I am sure you would probably be the world leader in skiing equipment but unfortunately for us here, it’s a warm environment all year round.”
Earlier, Stock said his country was a small country in the heart of Europe, with a population of about nine million people but that it “is technology-driven.”
“I may say we are big country when it comes to technology,” he said.
Stock, who noted that he had been in Nigeria since 1990 as commercial counselor and that he “loves and enjoys living in Nigeria,” said that Austria with its technological advancement could be of help to Oyo State.
“We can work together successfully. Austria has over 300 enterprises that specialise in different technologies such as airport firefighters, railways equipment, plastic machinery, waste collection/processing items.
“If you look for renewable energy, you will see that it is from Austria,” he said.