The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for electrification of eight Federal Universities, one Teaching Hospital and the host communities.
The project, which targets over 300,000 students and others within their immediate environment, is the first phase of government’s plans to power 37 federal universities and seven teaching hospitals in the country.
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA), which signed the MoU on behalf of the Federal Government with the universities, said the project aims to provide uninterrupted power supply through off-grid captive power plants in a bid to resolve power to the tertiary institutions.
Its Head of Special Projects, Mrs. Anita Otubu, said the first phase, which would be carried out in nine institutions would be completed in 2018 and would benefit over 300,000 students and staff.
The federal universities and teaching hospital that signed the MOU with the REA are the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Bayero University, Kano; Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto; Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi; Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka; University of Lagos, Akoka; Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun, Delta; Obafemi Awolowo University and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Osun.
Meanwhile, former Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Peter Okebukola yesterday tasked the Federal Government to increase funding for the nation’s universities.
He noted that in an interconnected world, solving Africa’s climate change, food, national, health and security challenges would amount to failure if not addressed within a global framework.
Okebukola spoke at Mountain Top University’s third lecture titled: “More Investment, More Harvest: Agenda for Enhancing Social Responsibility of Nigerian Universities,” held in Lagos.
“Proprietors and managers of Nigerian universities will need to at least quadruple the financial investment in the institutions to give hope that there will be a doubling of the scores on social relevance,” he said.