Tetfund Boss Seeks Reliable Power Supply to Tackle Development Challenges

Jack Acheme, Abuja

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The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Sonny Echono said that a reliable power supply system can solve Nigeria’s development challenges as everything runs on it.


He stated this when the management team of the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, paid a courtesy visit to him at his office in Abuja Nigeria.

He said Nigeria as a country cannot talk about production, creation of value, and employment on a big scale when issues of infrastructure like power are not addressed because everything runs on it.


“Until we have a reliable power supply in the country, our development trajectory will be flipping and flopping. Every amount of money you spend on power translates into direct growth in your GDP. 


“We are talking about our research activities on our campuses, even our industrial sector, you can’t be competitive when you are spending much money buying Diesel, having an ideal time.


“That is why in the spirit of the renew hope agenda of the president we are according to top priority to this power initiative for our tertiary institutions,” he said.


He commended REA for providing alternative sources of energy, especially Solar systems to tertiary institutions in the face of power shortages from the national grid.


According to him, adequate power supply remains the backbone of the success of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, especially in the area of research.


“As Nigeria moves to improve not just physical infrastructure, but also the research infrastructure in tertiary institutions, A lot of this requires constant supply of power. 


“There are certain samples you must maintain at certain temperatures for a prolonged period. There are certain operations you do in the Medical Laboratory and other sciences in which you can not afford to seize power even for a second. 


“And if you want to guarantee that we can provide learning environments that are competitive to others across the globe. The primary thing we must do is to guarantee power on our campuses,” he said.


He said Tetfund is ready to continually partner with the electrification agency in some of its interventions but was quick to add that the agency has funding challenges but finding ways to overcome them through securities.


Earlier, the Managing Director REA, Ahmad Salihijo said the purpose of the visit was to seek support and guidance and work together to bring more alternative electrification projects to tertiary institutions in Nigeria for seamless academic activities.


“We have seen the impact, how it helps the educational system, especially as universities are going into advanced technology. It becomes a very key point for them to have a constant electricity supply,” he said.


He said under the tertiary institution power supply programme of the agency, 7 Teaching Hospitals have been provided with alternative power supply,  out of the 27 Federal Universities they have contractual agreements with,  they are at the moment committed to 24 with 23 left.


Dominica Nwabufo