37 universities, seven hospitals with off-grid power electrified by FG

Babatunde Fashola

The Federal Government has commenced the electrification of 37 federal universities and seven teaching hospitals using off-grid captive power plants.

It said the first phase of the Energising Education Programme started with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Rural Electrification Agency and eight federal universities and one teaching hospital in Abuja on Tuesday.

The FGEEP, the REA stated, “Aims to provide uninterrupted power supply to 37 federal universities and seven teaching hospitals in Nigeria through the utilisation of off-grid captive power plants in a bid to resolve power challenges in institutions of higher learning in the country.”

The REA, which is an agency under the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, noted that the first phase of the exercise would include nine institutions, adding that it would be completed in 2018 and would benefit over 300,000 students and staff members.

“Seven of the nine planned power plants (10.5MW out of a total of 26.56MW) will be fuelled by solar energy, in line with the Federal Government’s energy mix policy,” it added.

The universities and teaching hospital that signed the MoU with the REA include the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Bayero University Kano; Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; and Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

Others are the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Anambra; University of Lagos, Akoka; Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Delta; as well as Obafemi Awolowo University and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

The REA observed that adequate supply of electricity had been cited repeatedly as a major challenge and barrier to effective learning in federal universities.

It said students had limited access to technical laboratories, Internet connection/online resources and high powered equipment.

“Consequently, the Federal Government is keen on facilitating the provision of dedicated and uninterrupted power supply to Nigerian educational institutions. To address this issue, the Federal Government’s Energising Education Programme was created,” it said.

Commenting on the development, the Vice Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Prof. Abdulrahman Ibrahim, was quoted as saying, “I believe it has the potential to do a lot for the universities. I want to commend the stakeholders for this particular innovation.”

Also, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha, was quoted as saying, “We are very excited that at last we may heave a sigh of relief. So, we are happy that this programme may finally take off and our university is part of the programme from the onset.”


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