Abdul Hassan, Zaria
Minister of Power Alhaji Sale Mamman says that the Buhari administration is determined to provide and ensure that Nigerian universities enjoy reliable and uninterrupted power supply throughout the academic calendar.
Mamman stated this at the weekend while commissioning an upgrade of the 33/11KV substation from 1*7.5MVA 33/11KV to 2*7.5MVA 33/11KV at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
“The Ministry through its Distribution Expansion Programme (DEP) in line with this administration’s Energising Education Programme (EEP) seeks to ensure all the Federal Universities enjoy reliable power supply graciously obliged,” Mamman said.
According to the Minister, uiversities and research institutions are too sensitive organisations to be left without adequate supply of electric power.
He said that it was expectated that, with the completion of the strategic project and the formal commissioning, the newly upgraded substation will restore and improve power supply to the institution
“We rely on the university administration to ensure that the facility is well maintained and electricity bills to Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company are paid promptly as at when due,” he said.
The Minister directed the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company to operate and maintain the facility by ensuring standard practice and optimal utilization within its operation.
“I learnt that in the past one of the 7.5MVA 33/11KV failed as a result of unreliable and epileptic power supply to the university community.
“This situation drastically affected the smooth running of the institution. The cost of power generation through alternative means becomes unbearable because of its attendant high operational cost,” he noted.
Mamman said the new installed equiptment at the substation was a request by the university management for the Ministry to intervene by upgrading and strengthening of the existing infrastructure as well as restoration of stable and reliable power supply to its campus.
Earlier, the ABU Vice Chancellor Prof. Ibrahim Garba expressed appreciation for the administration’s various intervention projects at the university.
“The present government has extended hands of intervention from different ministries, departments and parastatals, including Ecological Funds Office, the NNPC, among others,” Garba said.
He thanked the Minister for commissioning the project personally, noting that it has demonstrated that the Buhari administration is concerned with the condition of tertiary institutions in the country.
“We have seen interventions from Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Works, from Ecological Funds Office, we’ve seen it also from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), from the NNPC and many other MDAs.”
He added that the ABU was not only the largest university in Nigeria but it is most national of all Nigerian universities.
“This is a place where you find people from all the 774 local government areas of the country in both students and staff. So, whatever is done here it reaches the entire country, because it is a mini Nigeria,” the VC said.
The Vice Chancellor went on to assure the Minister that the project will bring about improved power supply to the institution, adding that an expansion of power coverage would be the next diserable project.
The Minister, accompanied by the Minister State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedi-Agba and ABU management took a tour round the institution to view some projects executed by Federal Government and billionaire industrialist Alhaji Aliko Dangote.