By Zika Bobby
A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos and Anambra, Chief Modestus Umenzekwe, has said there has been a significant improvement in power supply since Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola came on board.
He said adequate power supply has been the major challenge faced by successive administrations in Nigeria and added that electricity supply was worse for rural dwellers before Fashola.
In a statement, Umenzekwe lauded the Federal Government’s Energising Education Programme and rural electrification project, saying the programme is aimed at providing uninterrupted power supply for 37 federal universities and seven teaching hospitals in Nigeria through utilisation of off-grid power plants in a bid to resolve power challenges in institutions of higher learning in the country.
“The first phase will include nine institutions and should be completed in 2018, benefitting over 300,000 students and staff. Seven of the nine planned power plants -10.5MW out of 26.56MW- will be fuelled by solar energy, in line with the Federal Government’s energy mix policy,” he said.
He urged the Federal Government to ensure that the programme gets all the attention it deserves, as it would place Nigerian universities at par with their international counterparts.
He said research and other academic work will surely improve in the selected institutions in the new arrangement which is expected to gulp N9.5 billion in the 2017 budget, even as he prayed and hope that the tempo would be sustained for the good of Nigerians.