By Adejumo Kabir
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife has been listed among the eight federal universities to enjoy uninterrupted power supply from off grid captive power plants, following a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, signed with the Rural Electrification Agency, REA.
Other seven universities listed with Obafemi Awolowo University includes: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Bayero University, Kano, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, University of Lagos, Akoka, and Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun.
The MoU signed by the universities and REA comes under the Federal Government’s first phase of Energizing Education Programme, EEP, which targets eight institutions, and the projects will be completed in 2018, and over 300, 000 students and staff are expected to have access to uninterrupted power supply.
The programme aims at providing uninterrupted power supply for 37 Federal Universities and seven Teaching Hospitals in the country through the utilisation of off grid captive power plants in a bid to resolve power challenges in institutions of higher learning, and also to add value to staff and students’ performance and productivity.
Also, the programme will also install street lighting to enhance security measures on campuses, develop and operate training centres for student training on renewable and eventually, extend this uninterrupted power to improve quality of life and economic opportunities in the surrounding rural communities.
The Head of Special Projects, REA, Mrs Anita Otubu, said government has resolved to ensure federal universities and other institutions are at par or ahead of others across the world.
The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, expressed gratitude over the initiative by the government.
We gathered that the Vice Chancellors of benefitting universities also expressed joy over the innovation and move by the government to end many years of power problems in their campuses and said the universities would be placed again on the path of high academic performance and excellence.