This is also one of the reasons our education sector is going down the drain. What business does a school has in generating it’s own power? If things are right in the Power sector, the school would have lesser things to spend money on. The Vice chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof. Olusola Oyewole, revealed in an interview with Punch that the school spends over 96Million Naira per annum on generating power. Imagine if this money was spent on other facilities in the school, say equipment in the laboratories.
Read the excerpt from Punch:
PUNCH : Dearth of municipal facilities is another challenge facing universities in the country, how best do you think this can be eliminated?
UNAAB VC : That is a big challenge and at the root of it is underfunding. It is peculiar to public universities where tuition is almost non-existent. In FUNAAB, where we have 15,549 students, we can only accommodate about 30 per cent of them in hostels. Those who are lucky to have bed spaces pay N31,000 per bed space. That is for new students. Those in 200 Level and above pay N19,000 per bed space per session and there is no special fund to keep them in the hostels.
Of course, power generation is another area where we expend our lean resources. For instance, we spend over N5m on diesel every month and pay the Power Holding company of Nigeria N3m per month. If you add these together, we end up spending about N96m on power per annum. That’s huge! You can imagine what this amount would do to equip laboratories, workshop and library in a year. If we must come out of the problem of municipal facilities on campus, more funds should be injected into our universities, while accommodation fee should be increased if we cannot charge tuition. However, administrators of tertiary institutions should check wastages by making judicious use of available funds. That is what I met here and that is what we are doing in FUNAAB.
May God help us in this country!
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