Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
The Federal Government has restated its commitment to supporting the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, in its efforts to generate electricity for the university and the entire Ife community and also quit the national grid.
The Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jeddy Agba, disclosed this on Saturday at the university campus when he paid a visit to the institution to assess the ongoing Independent Power Project (IPP).
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, said that the university spends about N65 million monthly on power, which necessitated the university’s Independent Power Project to reduce energy costs.
He disclosed that the university consumed about 6.0 megawatts of electricity and added that the institution was working with a rural electrification agency that would provide a gas-powered turbine to generate electricity for the institution.
Ogunbodede assured that if completed, it would generate 8.0 megawatts of electricity for the institution and also quit the national grid.
It would also be able to supply power to not only the institution but also the entire Ife community for 24 hours.
The project, which was supposed to be completed in December last year, has, however, suffered a setback.
The minister, however, assured that the Federal Government would, henceforth, throw its weight behind the project to ensure its completion as soon as possible.
He attributed the delay to government’s commitment to the same project in some federal universities in all the geopolitical zones, including the South-South, North-West and the South-West.
The minister enthused that it was the South-West’s turn to have its project completed in OAU.
While allaying funding fears, the minister noted that the Federal Government had some donor agencies that had shown full commitment to the project and would not derail in ensuring the completion of the project as soon as possible.
“This project is in the heart of the Federal Government. It is committed to empowering and developing our universities. This project must come to a final completion soonest. I have come, I have seen but I have not conquered. We shall soon conquer,” the minister stressed.
“I am a part of the project. It is not just an Ife project, I am personally involved. OAU is a major university in Nigeria. We are ready to empower our universities for research in Engineering, Economics, Health and other areas to inspire development. This is in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to education development and we shall not renege on this,” he added.
He, however, expressed satisfaction with the level of work on the site and assured of government’s quick response to the call by the university management to come to its rescue in the execution of the project.