By Inyali Peter
The Honourable Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, OFR has assured the management of the University of Calabar (Unical) of federal government’s commitment to boost electricity in the institution with solar energy solutions.
Jedy-Agba who stated this when he received a delegation from the University led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Banku Obi, in his office said that all necessary arrangements have been concluded for the takeoff of the second phase of the Energizing Education Programme (EEP) where Unical has been selected as one of the benefiting institutions.
The Minister explained that, “EEP, a project designed to power federal universities and teaching hospitals with solar energy is a key component of the federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). It’s implemted by the Rural Electrification Agency which is under my supervision and several universities and teaching hospitals have benefitted in the first phase”.
He maintained that as a Minister from Cross River where Unical is situated, ensuring the University was among the benefitting institutions in the second phase was a priority and he’s happy for the selection.
While commending the VC for her achievements since assuming office, he said that “given your background and the fact that you’re a woman, I know nobody gave you a chance to be where you are today. I believe that where you are today is by the grace grace of God and your hardwork. I must say, we’re happy with the work you’re doing because you have justified the confidence repossessed on you. I urge you to do even more”.
Earlier, Prof. Obi said the purpose of the visit was to commend the Minister for his support as well as brief him of some of the achievements she had recorded since assuming office.
The VC appealed to the Minister to intervene by lighting up the University with solar street lights while proces for the commencement of installation of the solar power plant under the EEP is concluded.
According to him, “I want to thank you once again for your support during the race for the VCship. I know you’ve always been there for us; we’re aware that all the processes for the commencement of the construction of a solar power plant in the University has been concluded as all the contracts have been approved, awarded and signed.
We thank you immensely for ensuring that Unical was selected as one of the Universities to benefit in the second phase. We understand that the construction will take at least 18 months to complete so, while we wait for it to come up, we want to appeal that you also intervene by helping us with solar streets lights.
We’re trying to change our students reading behaviour but the major challenge facing us now is electricity. You also know that we’re bounded by a river, so this put us at risk of attacks by criminal elements who come through the waterways at night to kidnap our staff and students. Even our security officers have always complained that their job is being affected by darkness”.
Obi also intimated the Minister of the University’s plan to set up an endowment fund that’ll provide loans for students who can’t fund their education as well as scholarships for outstanding students.