UNIBEN electricity bill hits N130m monthly, VC seeks IGR tax reversal

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof. Lilian Salami has said that the University’s expenditure on power supply has risen to N130 million monthly.

Speaking on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) current affairs programme, ‘Good Morning Nigerians,’ the Vice Chancellor revealed that the University’s management pays about N80 million for electricity bills, in addition to N50 million for diesel to power the alternative source of power supply.

She therefore appealed to the federal government to reconsider the proposal for a 40 percent deduction from Universities Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in view of Nigeria’s economic reality.

According to her, “We (Nigerian Universities) are constantly running into deficit; I do not want to go into power issues because that is a discussion for a whole day; UNIBEN pays almost N80 million per month just to run electricity,”

“That cost is in addition to the cost of alternate source (diesel) and generator maintenance. If I add up diesel, what I pay monthly is almost N130 million to keep the University lit. That again is a major challenge,” she said

“Because UNIBEN wants to have international outlook, we are beginning to look at lecturers in diaspora to join and teach our students virtually.

“We have to reiterate the fact that we are not a revenue generating entities. What we do is to render services that students are paying for. We have to meet the demands of our students not to compromise the quality of our graduates.

“As I speak with you today, I have almost 200 personnel that are on security; we still have to stretch to remain in the system. The major issue in Nigeria Universities are tailored around funding.

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“I want to dare if there is any Nigerian University that is not indebted. UNIBEN was established almost 54 years ago. Most of the infrastructure – buildings which are mostly donated by TETFUND are now old. We expect them to become obsolete, dilapidated. We have to develop these structures,” Prof. Salami said.

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