Fashola commended for N9.5 Billion Rural electrification and energizing Universities project

www.odogwublog.com reports that All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain in Lagos and Anambra state, Chief Modestus Okechukwu Umenzekwe has said adequate power supply has been the major challenge faced by successive administrations in Nigeria, but there has been a significant improvement since incumbent Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN.

Umenzekwe who is also the Chairman of Adem Industrial and Commercial Complex, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Lagos state and a die-hard supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari insisted that electricity supply was worse for the rural area dwellers before Fashola but expressed gratitude that rural electrification has improved greatly.

He regretted that had the huge sums of money invested before President Buhari came on board was well utilized, electricity would have been a fair accompli. He reminded that the hapless and helpless consumers were subjected to estimated billing method and through the process have been exploited unduly by those charged with the responsibilities of managing the power sector which Fashola’s term is correcting with the directive that each house hold should be provided with prepaid meters.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after ordination at the Catholic diocese of Awka recently, Umenzekwe applauded the Federal Government’s Energizing Education Programme and rural electrification project an initiated by the incumbent Minister, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola. He said the N9.5 Billion budgeted in 2017 budget for that is a huge step forward if the contracts are followed to the later.

He said: ‘’It is gratifying to know that the federal government under the watch of the former Lagos state governor, Fashola and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, 20th June 2017 with eight (8) Federal Universities and one Teaching Hospital for the first phase of the Federal Government’s Energizing Education Programme.

‘’The programme aims to provide uninterrupted power supply for 37 Federal Universities and 7 Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria through the utilization of off grid captive power plants in a bid to resolve power challenges in institutions of higher learning in the country. The first phase will include 9 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 a total of 26.56MW) will be fueled by solar energy, in line with the Federal Government’s energy – mix policy.

He urged the Federal Government to ensure the programme gets all the attention it deserves as it would place Nigerian Universities at par with their international counterparts.

He said with street lightening of Universities as part of the project, security measures on campuses shall be enhanced, and with development and operating of training centers for student training on renewable energy; the uninterrupted power supply would improve quality of life and economic opportunities in the surrounding rural communities.

He appealed to the eight Federal Universities and one Teaching Hospital that signed the MOU with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) including Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, Bayero University Kano, Usumanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, Nnamdi Azikwe University, Anambra, University of Lagos Akoka,  Federal University of Petroleum Resources Delta, ObafemiAwolowo University and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Osun to ensure the project is actualized as specified to benefit the students and host communities.

Umenzekwe, a prominent Igbo son in Lagos noted that the giant stride and innovations from the minister, it is expected that many moribund industries would now have a lifeline and begin to produce again, adding that he was impressed with the quantity and quality of electricity available for consumption of Nigerians today. Though there is still so much to be done in this regard.

The minister explained that the objective of the scheme was to deliver affordable houses to workers based on the National Housing Policy.

He believed that this development will undoubtedly improve the quality of lives of Nigerians and as well boost employment level because many which laid off their workers because of poor production can now recall them.

He said research and other academic work will surely improve in the selected institutions in the new arrangement which is expected to gulp as much as N9.5b in the 2017 budget, even as he prayed and hope that the tempo would be sustained for the betterment of all Nigerians. Funds earmarked for the projects should not end in private pockets.

He thanked the minister for his explanation that the objective of the federal Housing scheme was to deliver affordable houses to workers based on the National Housing Policy against what was obtainable before, even as he commended the ongoing repairs and rehabilitation on most federal roads.

Fashola commended for N9.5 Billion Rural electrification and energizing Universities project Fashola commended for N9.5 Billion Rural electrification and energizing Universities project Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 Rating: 5

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