Nigeria: Public Varsities to Get Additional Power Supply Through REA

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Abuja — The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has expressed readiness to partner the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to provide all public universities with independent power supply.

The fund said it is currently working in 27 universities, including Bayero University, Kano and Kwara State University, Matele to provide the institutions with power supply through solar installations.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), TETFund, Alhaji Kashim Imam stated this after a tour of the 250 kilowatts solar facility in Kwara State University.

Receiving the TETFund team, the management of the university thanked the agency for funding its 250 kilowatts solar installation, while calling for more funding to expand the project in 2021.

Led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mahmud Saka, the institution also appreciated TETFund for its multiple interventions, adding that a lot of projects have sprung up in the institution and more are being constructed.

Saka disclosed that more than 100 staff of the university have obtained PhDs through one of TETFund’s bouquets of intervention, academic staff training, and more are being trained.

According to the university management, the language research centre of the institution is growing rapidly because of the support of TETFund.

While stating that the university was the first to offer aeronautical engineering in the country, it noted that although equipment involved in operating the programme are expensive, TETFund has been supportive in providing them.

The TETFund team also monitored projects at Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, where it is funding the construction of the Institute of Technology at the tune of N1 billion, and a couple of other projects.

While touring TETFund-sponsored projects at University of Ilorin, Imam noted that “virtually all the faculty buildings were constructed by TETFund; from the Faculty of Engineering to the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Law. We have seen so many projects. I have also seen several 500, 600 capacity lecture theatres across this university campus and I am very happy.

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“It is gratifying that we have impacted and we are impacting very well. As I have been saying in recent weeks, we are TETFund and we are determined to prove that public agencies can actually work; can impact and can do so with integrity. I also want to assure you that we would do much more than what you have seen here.”

On the call for TETFund to extend its interventions to private universities, the chairman reiterated that the fund will do nothing about it, adding that private universities are doing business and government cannot afford to fund their investments.

“We are doing absolutely nothing. It is enough that we are impacting on public universities and at the moment we have 226 institutions: universities, polytechnics and colleges of education that we are funding.

“We want to fund them to the extent that they can compete and even do better than the private universities. This is our goal. We have no business funding private universities. I don’t subscribe to it, I don’t support it, I will not be a party to it.”

On the high number of public institutions accessing TETFund interventions, he said 226 is a significant number evenly spread across all the six geopolitical zones.

Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor, University Ilorin, Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem said the tour of TETFund projects in the institution was to show TETFund what the university has done with its help.

“This university has benefited a lot over the years from TETFund. Like I said, if you take away the intervention of TETFund from our campus, you have nothing much to say about it. We really thank God for them and pray that they do more for us,” Abdulkareem said.

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