Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Osun state has disclosed that the school spends over N80 million monthly on electricity bill and another N2 million on diesel to power its generators.
This is as he claimed that the huge sum could be diverted to more challenging ventures when the ongoing power project in the university is completed to facilitate regular power supply and reduce economic burden on the institution.
Professor Ogunbodede disclosed this while addressing a Press Conference to herald the school’s 60th Anniversary Celebration on Tuesday at the University campus.
The University was established on June 08, 1961 and began classes in October 1962 as University of Ife before it was renamed to Obafemi Awolowo University on May 12, 1987 in honour of the first Premier of the then Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
He added that apart from the electrification projects, other ongoing development work include the airstrip project, construction of Phase 3 hostel for students, staff housing scheme, Aeronautical Engineering department, International Student Exchange centre, Student Affairs Building, th “Jubilee House”,- a-ten storey Centra Bank of Nigeria Building among others.
“The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) 8.03MW power project for the supply of electricity to the University is on-going and almost completed. This will enable OAU generate its own electricity. The University processed and obtained from the Transmission Corporation of Nigeria the Marketing License as an Electricity distributor, the first Nigerian University to enjoy the privilege. The aim is to reduce the economic burden of high tariff and ensure regular electricity supply to enhance its various academic activities. The University presently pays 80 million Naira per month for electricity and additionally, over two million Naira per month on Diesel to power generators”, he said.
The Vice Chancellor said the institution is committed to promoting academic excellence across fields of learning, adding that though the university has lots breakthrough in the area of research and will not relent in ensuring turning out quality research results for the benefit of society.
Also, the school’s Governing Council Chairman, Owelle Oscar Udoji, while commending the founding fathers of the University for their foresight, he said the challenges facing public university system in the country demand collaborative effort of all stakeholders.
“There is no doubt that the public university system in our dear country is at a major crossroads. I know that we would all want a better public university system; the type that is well-positioned to train world–class manpower for the country with cutting-edge of teaching and learning. We would want a public university system that is at the forefront of responding to-and tackling the myriad challenges of national development.
“To achieve this is as much a responsibility of government as it is that of every citizen. I dare say, permit me, that the challenge of revamping the University system in Nigeria to make it responsive to the changing imperatives of the 21st Century is too important to be left to government but certainly also too dangerous to be left in private hands unregulated.
My belief is that all stakeholders, government and citizens alike, would rise up to the task of pulling our universities back from the brinks”, he said.
The activities marking the golden jubilee kicked off on Sunday, June 6, with Christian interdenominational service at the All Soul’s Chapel, OAU, the unveiling of the anniversary logo on Tuesday, June 8, a novelty march billed to take place on Wednesday, June 9, Jumat service at the OAU central mosque and various college/faculty activities which will be climaxed with the 45th convocation of the university in December 2021.