Politics People

FG Approves Funds for Improvement of Power Supply and Educational Research

In a quest to improve the power supply within the country, the Federal Government has approved over $526 million for power supply projects in Abia, Imo Benue and Kano states.

This was disclosed to the media on Wednesday by Engr. Sale Mamman, Minister of Power after the conclusion of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for the week.

He stated that $506 million would be for extending transmission lines in Abia and Imo states and that a sum of $27.7 million would be used in the construction of three sub-stations in Zaki-Biam and Bichi, Benue and Kanyi in Kano State.

He said, “The cost for the extension of transmission lines in Abia and Imo States is 506,324.40 million dollars plus N34,034,000 local content cost.

“On the amount for the construction of three sub-stations in Zaki-Biam, Benue State and Bichi and Kanyi, Kano State – the one in Zaki-Biam is 8.6 million dollars offshore and N2.08 billion onshore.

“The second one in Bichi is 9.6 million dollars plus N1.7 billion local content cost, while the one in Kanyi, Kano State, is 9.5 million dollars plus N1.7 billion.”

The Council also approved funds for the purchase of an electron microscope for research purposes in the University of Ibadan, Oyo.

This was made public by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba who was also interviewed after the Council’s meeting.

He stated that the approval was in a bid to improve education and research in the institution as well as Nigeria and West Africa at large.

He further stated that the University had made complains over the purchase of the equipment over the years due to the cost of sending researchers and PhD. holders abroad for sample analysis.

“In continuation of efforts by the Federal Government to revitalise and reposition the education sector, Council passed a resolution granting the request of the University of Ibadan to acquire a new microscope.

“This is a microscope which is totally directed at enhancing whatever material, looking at nuclear composition of its molecular nature.

“This is in our premier university. The Department of Anatomy at the university has been at the forefront of this coordinate research in Nigeria for many years since its inception in 1948.

“The first of such equipment was given to us in 1967 by the Japanese government, but it has become obsolete.

“The Federal Government has had the opportunity to review many of the requests from the university authorities, including those of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

“The request by the University of Ibadan has been approved so that we can stop spending the kind of money we spend sending PhD and further research students abroad on the basis of lack of this particular equipment.

“If University of Ibadan is empowered to do this, and acquires this equipment, it will become the fulcrum for many other research faculties around the country.

“Everybody, including researchers from neighbouring West African countries will be able to access it.

“Our experience at the Tertiary Education Fund showed that many of the research requests had to do with non-availability of particular equipment in the country.

“The Federal Government, in its holistic attempt to address both its economic and social values as well as upgrade our educational targets, approved this to be able to address then challenge.” he said.

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Festus Ezeifedi Chukwuemeka

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