The Minister of Power, Alhaji Sale Mamman, has assured that the present administration was determined to ensure that all the federal universities enjoy reliable and uninterrupted power supply.
He disclosed this on Saturday at the occasion of the upgrade of 33/11KV substation from 1*7.5MVA 33/11KV to 2*7.5MVA 33/11KV at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.
“The Ministry through its Distribution Expansion Programme (DEP) in line with this administration’s Energising Education Programme (EEP) which seeks to ensure all the Federal Universities enjoy reliable power supply graciously obliged.
“It is our expectation that with the completion of this strategic project and its commissioning today will greatly restore and improve power supply to ABU.
“We rely on the university administration to ensure that the facility is well maintained and electricity bills to Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company are paid promptly as at when due,’’ he said.
Mamman also urged the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company to operate and maintain the facility with the highest standard of practice and ensure its optimal utilisation.
The Minister recalled that one of the 7.5MVA 33/11KV failed, which resulted in unreliable and epileptic power supply to the university community.
“This situation drastically affected the smooth running of the institution. The cost power generation through alternative means becomes unbearable because of its attendant high operational cost.
“The university requested for intervention from the Ministry of Power for upgrade and strengthening of the existing infrastructure and restoration of stable and reliable power supply,” he noted.
The Vice-Chancellor of ABU, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, appreciated the present ministration for its intervention to the university in a different dimension.
He explained that the present administration had extended hands of intervention from different ministries, departments and parastatals, including Ecological Funds Office and NNPC.
“Let me start by thanking the Honourable Minister of Power and Honourable Minister of State for Power for coming to Ahmadu Bello University to commission this completed power improvement plant.
“No doubt, since the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, we have seen quite a number of interventions from the Federal Government into this university, this is just one of such.
“We have seen interventions from Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Works, from Ecological Funds Office, we’ve seen it also from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), from NNPC and many other MDAs,” Garba said.
According to him, this is one part that is coming from the Ministry of Power, adding that the university is appreciative of the gesture and look forward to more.
“Because, this is a fast-growing place, it is a training ground for our future. So, no matter what investment we have done is worth doing it and we stand to benefit from it in the nearest future.
“ABU is not only the largest university in Nigeria but it is most national of all Nigerian universities.
“This is a place where you find people from all the 774 Local Government Areas of the country in both students and staff, so, whatever is done here it reaches the entire country because it is a mini Nigeria,” he noted.
The V-C assured that the project had brought about stabilisation and improvement of power supply to the university, adding that what is left now was the expansion of power supply.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister, who was accompanied by the Minister State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedi-Agba, had earlier paid a courtesy visit on the Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris in his palace in Zaria.