Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 28 July 2017 | 1,422 times
A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State, Chief Modestus Okechukwu Umenzekwe, has commended the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola for the significant role he has played at ensuring improved power supply in the rural areas.
He said that successive administrations in Nigeria had faced the challenge of inadequate power supply but failed to record any success until the takeover of the Ministry by the present Minister of Power, Works and Housing.
Umenzekwe observed that the rural areas in particular have experienced significant improvement in power supply since the coming of the Minister.
The APC chieftain who is also the Chairman of Adem Industrial and Commercial Complex, Lagos-Badagry Expressway observed that if the huge sums of money invested in power before the emergence of President Buhari as president was well utilized, that electricity would have been a fair accompli.
He said that consumers were before now exploited by people managing the power sector as they were subjected to estimated billing method adding that Fashola’s team is working hand in glove to stabilise the system with the recent directive that every household should be provided with prepaid meters.
Addressing journalists in Awka shortly after his ordination at the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Umenzekwe applauded the Federal Government’s Energizing Education Programme and rural electrification project as initiated by the incumbent Minister.
He said that the N9.5 Billion enshrined in the 2017 budget for the project will be a good step in the right direction if the contracts are followed to the later.
Said Umenzekwe: “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 seven 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 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 a total of 26.56MW) will be fuelled by solar energy, in line with the Federal Government’s energy mix policy.”
Umenzekwe while urging 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 noted that with street lightening of universities, security measures on campuses shall be enhanced.
He also said that with uninterrupted power supply in the tertiary institutions, development and operating of training centres for student training on renewable energy will improve.
Umenzekwe appealed to the eight Federal Universities and one Teaching Hospital that signed the MOU with the REA to ensure the project is actualised as specified to benefit the students and host communities.
He noted that with the effort and innovations of the minister, many moribund industries would have a better lifeline and begin to produce maximally again even as he prayed for the sustenance for the betterment of all Nigerians.
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