Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
Thirty-seven federal universities in the country are using 1,068 generators as alternative power source, an energy audit of the tertiary institutions has revealed.
According to the audit, the generators contribute to noise and air pollution in the universities, as the diesel and petrol engines emit pollutants in the surroundings where they function.
A document obtained by our correspondent from the Rural Electrification Agency in Abuja on Sunday, stated that some teaching hospitals were also captured in the recent energy audit.
The REA said, “Energy audits were conducted for all the federal universities and the adjoining university teaching hospitals across the country to determine the energy consumption and future load growth of each of the institutions.
“The results derived were then used to develop the business case and subsequent Standard Bidding Documents for the procurement of goods, works and services required for the Energising Education Programme.”
It added, “As shown from energy audit results, the universities are currently using 1,068 generators as an alternative source of power.”
The agency explained that this was one of the issues the EEP sought to address, as it noted that the energy audit also revealed a total population of 224,800 across what it described as phase 1 universities.
It said phase 1 was designed for the generation of 28.56 megawatts covering nine federal universities and one university teaching hospital across the six geopolitical zones.
“This significant number indicates the number of residents, students and (members of) staff that will be positively impacted, as it relates to the well-being, security, quality of learning and services provided and overall socio-economic development of the country,” the agency said.
It stated that there was the need to take universities and teaching hospitals off the national electricity grid, as this would ensure self-sufficiency in power and sustainable development for Nigerian universities and free up energy on the grid which could be better channelled towards improving supply to deficient areas.
It added, “It will also reduce air and noise pollution from diesel and petrol generators as alternative power source, encourage the development of renewable energy and captive power plants, improve the general standard of learning and living in universities by enhancing security through street lights, costs of personal power sources, health and safety issues.
“It will improve healthcare service delivery, research, teaching and innovation in the universities teaching hospitals and reduce mortality rate, enhance the global status/ranking of Nigerian universities and give bragging rights to the current government administration if successful.”
REA stated that the EEP was also created to implement the energy access and sufficiency action point of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and served as a component of the Power Sector Reform Programme already approved by the Federal Executive Council.