Passionate about making cheap and sustainable solar street lights accessible to the impoverished off-grid communities in Nigeria, Heritage Bank Plc has aligned forces with Liter of Light Nigeria, a global open source movement, to provide electricity for Itomaro community in Lagos State.
The partnership, on Thursday, launched 35 units of solar energy-powered street lights it produced for the community. The movement comprises a group of Nigerian students of the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, who is passionate about making a positive difference to the world through the gift of light.
In his remarks to the beneficiary community during the launch, the MD/CEO of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, who was represented by Ozena Utulu, Head, Brand Management & Sustainability, Heritage Bank Plc, commended the people living in the community for giving access to the joint team of Heritage Bank and Liter of Light Nigeria to execute the project. He noted that it takes two to tango; stressing that without their confidence in the project the achievement recorded would not have been possible. She therefore commended the youth of the community, who volunteered to participate in the training sessions organized during the two-week period of the production of the street lights. Sekibo was confident that with the knowledge acquired during the training sessions, the effective maintenance of the new street lights would not be difficult. Her words: These youth already have the knowledge required to ensure the street lights are effectively sustained and to produce more units.
The MD charged those youth to research more into what solar energy can be used for in the contemporary world. She stated: Read more about solar energy; you never can tell where the knowledge you have acquired under the programme can lead to in the future. My advice for you is try to discover yourself now concerning what you would love to become in the future and begin to work towards achieving the goal. Sekibo’s words: Use the knowledge acquired today to create wealth. The power rests with you now. In everything you do in life, challenges can come; but remain steadfast and confront whatever storm of life. With such determination, you will achieve your goal.
Meanwhile, Enemona Adaji, one of the Project Co-coordinators for Liter of Light, disclosed that the movement was founded with the aim of providing ecologically sustainable street lights. According to him, the easily constructed device consists of a 1-2L bottle fashioned into a solar bulb delivering as much light as a 40 60-watt incandescent bulb. According to him, the team had earlier provided 100 sustainable and affordable solar-powered lightings to the Makoko slum, an area which previously struggled with lighting.
Also speaking at the event, Emma Tayou, representative of the University of Nottingham; explained that the institution has culture of charging its students to think about any viable project that can help to positively impact the society.
According to her, a group of Nigerian students of the university decided that they would take on the challenge of lighting up the dark streets of impoverished communities in this country. She said the university bought into the idea and supported them with the take-off grant that set the initial pedestal for them. She therefore commended the team for the sacrifices each member is making to ensure the mission is accomplished in every community selected.
Among the 25 volunteers, who participated in the project in Itomaro are: Emmanuel Mustapha and Abraham Samuel.