Nigeria: Govt plans uninterrupted power supply for 40 Universities

*Power transmission towers.

*Power transmission towers.

…Poor electricity supply barrier to technical education – NBTE

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

23 September 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government has disclosed plans to ensure uninterrupted power supply for 40 federal universities within the next 18 months.

To this end, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, have begun to collaborate to meet the target.

At a meeting held in Abuja yesterday by representatives of both ministers, it was noted that the project would be implemented through the Energizing Education Programme Initiative (EEPI).

A statement from Deputy Director Press of the ministry of education, Ben Bem Goong, explained that the project will be executed through the utilisation of off-grid Independent Power Projects (IPPs) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) structures.

At the meeting which was held with the Vice Chancellors and Directors of Physical Planning of all the 40 Federal Universities, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Folashade Yemi- Esan, who represented the minister said that the project was initiated by the Ministry of Power, Works & Housing.

According to her, the project will as well, provide an avenue to train students especially those in the faculty of Engineering on how to utilise various energy sources in their respective departments.

“Since both Ministries are on the same page over this important project, we decided to call the Vice Chancellors together, share their vision, cooperation and pray for smooth sailing”, she said.

The Minister for Power, Works and Housing was represented by the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Baba Shehuri. He stated that the programme is aimed at providing reliable power supply which he said will promote economic growth and sustainable development in our Universities.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Power, Damilola Ogunbiyi, in her presentation, stated that the project will boost productivity, efficacy and professionalism in the concerned universities.

She noted that the off-grid power plants being planned for varsities are environmentally friendly with little or no carbon emission, in line with global climate change standard.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Dr. Mas’udu Adamu Kazaure, has said that technical and vocational education cannot thrive in Nigeria without a constant supply of electricity and functional industries.

According to him, many industries would spring up if electricity supply is enhanced. He added, “If we have electricity, you can work with your machines in the workshops, your equipment in the laboratories and that is the only way you can give meaningful training to a student.

“If we train a boy, we must have industries where the boy can work; not just work, but to establish his own small industry if he has the zeal. So, if we don’t have these two entities, there is no way technical and vocational education can prosper in this country.”

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