The Nigerian government is set to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to eight Nigerian universities.
A statement released by the Ministry of Power on Friday noted that in a bid to resolve power challenges in institutions of higher learning in the country, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the universities.
The MOU, signed on Tuesday with eight Federal Universities and one Teaching Hospital, is part of the first phase of the Federal Government’s Energizing Education Programme, (FGEEP).
The programme, the statement said, aims to provide uninterrupted power supply for 37 Federal Universities and seven Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria through the utilisation of off grid captive power plants.
The programme would also install street lighting to enhance security measures on campuses, develop and eventually extend this uninterrupted power to improve quality of life and economic opportunities in the surrounding rural communities.
The first phase of the exercise, to be completed in 2018, would include nine institutions 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.
The universities and teaching hospital that signed the MoU with the REA, include Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Bayero University Kano; Usman Danfodio University Sokoto; and Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
Others are Nnamdi Azikiwe University Anambra; University of Lagos, Akoka; Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Delta; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife and the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Speaking after the MoU was signed, the Head of Special Projects for the REA, Mrs. Anita Otubu, said government has resolved to ensure federal universities and other institutions are on par or ahead of others across the world. She said.
Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, expressed gratitude over the initiative by the government., Rasheed said.