Electricity cost UNIBEN N60m monthly, says VC

Electricity cost UNIBEN N60m monthly, says VC


The University of Benin (UNIBEN), Benin City, Edo State says the institution spends about N60 million monthly on electricity.

Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Lilian Salami said this on Thursday at a Press Conference to mark her two years in office in Ugbowo, Benin City.

She revealed that payment is made from the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR that accrues to the University out of which 30 percent is used to pay contractors the institution have been is indebted to ameliorate the running cost while 70 percent is channeled into other areas that require attention in the University.

The VC who also highlighted her achievements since the past two years, stated that: “I will tell you right here. If you look at the electricity that we consume here in the University of Benin, it cost us almost N60 million per month to run electricity. And that money isn’t coming from the federal government. It is coming from IGR.

Salami, the 10th substantive Vice Chancellor, explained that due to the rising demands and decay infrastructure, the UNIBEN Governing Council and Senate met and introduced a fine for late payment of charges attracted an additional N10,000 per student.

“This was before it was later increased to N20,000 each after two weeks as part of steps to savage the institution from causing huge embarrassment, led to students protest”, she said.

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She disclosed that 70 percent of the affected students had complied with the University’s mandate on late payment of charges before it was abolished by the institution before the University management abolished it

“So, when the University of Benin Governing Council met, in its own wisdom decided that the amount owed the University by students should be paid and that something needed to be done regarding the school charges. A decision was made by the Management and UNIBEN Senate.

“But what we have done, we have actually decided that we take certain percentage of whatever comes in in terms of our IGR generation and other changes or little businesses that run on Campus.

“We have been taking 30 percent of that to pay the debt so that we now have 70 percent to work with…And we have doing that steadily. But what most contractors would want us to do, is to pay everything that we are owing them. That is not too possible for us with the scarce resources that we have”, the VC said.

“It is not easy to plan when you do not have money. You can plan with when you cannot execute in a system when you can’t buy materials to teach them when you have money to pay for it…

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“As at the time the students protested, we had collected school charges for over 75 percent of the students. So, it has worked.

“On the indigent students, “Part of the lessons that we have learnt from that protest is that there are truly students who cannot pay N5,000. So, what have we done about that?”, she queried.

Speaking further, the Vice Chancellor said, the management has reactivated students work study initiative which was formerly abandoned by past administration to meet emerging vulnerable students.

According to her, some students from poor homes have been identified and encouraged to take advantage of the students work study initiative along with the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, CED in the institution have been repositioned to assist indigent, vulnerable students of the University to either pay their charges or provide menial jobs for them during leisure hours.

“The students work study initiative that had gone moribund before we came on board, have been resuscitated. In addition to that, we have also said that the scheme will help to accommodate students.

“The Director of that Unit has gone out to approach well placed persons in society to assist the students. We have tried as much to use the students Union to identity these indigent students who cannot pay their tuition and are truly in need of assistance if you leave the place open, students who can pay their school fees will flood the place”.

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