By Festus Ahon
ASABA—DELTA State Government has restated the resolve of the state government to ensure 24 hours power supply to the state-owned tertiary institutions within six months with solar energy.
State Commissioner, Ministry of Higher Education, Prof Patrick Muoboghare in an interview with newsmen in Asaba, decried the electricity deficit in tertiary institutions across the state.
Speaking on the steps being taken by the state government towards addressing the issue, Muoboghare said from all indications, a pilot scheme will be installed in Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi Uku, while Delta State Polytechnic, Oghara will follow suit after two months.
The power supply project, according to the Commissioner for Higher Education, will be financed through Public-Private Sector Partnership, disclosing that the solar projects will be built and commissioned by private investors while the government will offset the financial commitments monthly after three years.
He said: “Deficit in power supply in tertiary institutions across the state has been a major challenge in education management. It is more so because their Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, has been poor and always almost spent on the power supply.
“We are likely to start with the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku. In the next six months, Ogwashi-Uku will get 24 hours supply. Few months after December, we will commission Ogwashi-Uku. Oghara will follow after two months.
“We are concentrating our focus on solar energy. We have so much of it in Nigeria unharnessed. I dare say that we are not very good with converting theory into practice.
“This move is the state government’s way of converting theory. The beauty is that they will construct and commission before we start paying for it over a period of three years. What we will pay for will be less than what we pay for diesel in a month, compared to the amount we pay for power supply
“It is after this that we will begin to effectively look into accommodation for students which is another issue as well as insecurity. But electricity is a major factor. We have private investors who are trying to build hostels on build operate and vacate after some years. We want staff to live within where they work. This will help curb insecurity. The discipline of staff and their curricula can handle their self.”