The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has expressed its partnership with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to ensure uninterrupted power supply in Universities and other tertiary institutions in the country.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, disclosed this when the Managing Director of REA, Salihijo Ahmad, paid a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.
While commending the Energising Education Programme (EEP) being implemented by REA in selected universities and teaching hospitals across the country, Echono said the importance of steady power supply in tertiary institutions cannot be over-emphasised.
“There is sheer acceptance that this is important for us as we move to improve not just the physical infrastructure but also ICT infrastructure and research infrastructure in our institutions.
“A lot of these require constant supply of power.
There are certain samples you must put at certain temperature for a prolonged period. There are certain operations you do in medical laboratory that you cannot afford power to cease even for a second.
“And, if we really want to guarantee a learning environment that can compete with others across the globe, one of the primary things we can do is to guarantee power in our campuses,” Echono said.
He called on the agency to revamp the project in some of the beneficiary institutions that had encountered challenges with the EEP.
Echono also said that TETFund would explore the possibility of getting longer term financing from African Development Bank (AfDB) for subsequent editions of the scheme .
“You can get long term finance at affordable interest rate and it will enable us do more. With the instrument we have, we will have subsequent liquidity to defray the cost,” he said.
He further said that getting long term finance package for the project would be cost effective as only short term (one year cycle) funds were currently available to the agency.
Earlier, the Managing Director of REA, Salihijo Ahmad, said the EEP was aimed at providing sustainable and clean power supply to 37 federal Universities and seven University teaching hospitals across the country.
Ahmad noted that the programme had already commenced in 24 Universities and selected teaching hospitals, while calling for the cooperation of TETFund to ensure the total success of the scheme.
According to him, infrastructure is not just about classrooms and lecture theatres, with the current situation in the country, it is becoming more apparent that we have a decentralised power systems.
”They are very important for our institutions like universities and getting additional resources for the EEP from TETFund will go a long way to scale up the programme in the nation’s universities,” he said. (NAN)