The University of Jos has experienced a power outage for the past few days, many rumors have been flying around about the reason for the power outage we decide to put a call to the school, and this our findings.
There was a meeting between the school authority and the student union government on the power outage the discussion is as follows.
The meter reading Committee informed members that during the Pandemic period the students were not on Campus, electricity consumption cost in the University was ranging between One Million Five hundred thousand (#1,500,000) Naira to Three Million (#3,000,000) Naira, but, when students resumed, it was discovered that the bill went as high as #21 Million in February and in March it was #27 Million. The University Management was able to pay #10 Million out of the #27 Million but as at 28th April, 2021, there was a threat by JED to disconnect the University power supply by 12pm on 29th April if the balance was not paid.
The Committee was also informed that the Federal Government budget for electricity bill in a year is just #150,000,000 i.e. about #13,000,000 per month.
The Directorate of physical Facilities (DPF) informed the Committee that there was a device that was installed to monitor and trip off the meter whenever high consuming appliances like hot plate, filing machine, heater and so on were plugged on. It was later observed that as a result of the installed device, students threatened to demonstrate and so the device was uninstalled.
Based on the above, the students were engaged in a dialogue to bring their input on how the dilemma of high electricity consumption rate can be resolved, the following opinions were arrived at:
- The students unanimously disagreed with the 9 hours i.e. the 8am-5pm switching off the electricity as recommended by the meter reading Committee, but suggested 5 hours instead i.e. from 8am- 1pm as the 9 hours’ power outage will not make any difference because the University is on maximum demand meter.
- They requested a one-week time frame for them to discuss with their constituents on the current challenges.
- They requested that if Management of the University will make a partnership with them to negotiate with major gas plant companies to negotiate on how gas supply will be discounted to students on campus as they use their ID cards as means of identification to the company at the point of purchase.
- Some of the students raised concern on the high cost of gas and suggested the use of kerosene instead.
- They agreed to the usage of the device and that it should be installed block by block and also suggested a one- week time frame be given to them to discuss with their constituents before its implementation.
- That campus commercial business operators should have their separate meters.
- It was suggested that electrical sockets in the hostels should be blocked and only those in the common rooms should be left.
That some of the Committee members and students should go on a tour to two or three 2nd generation Universities to verify if they are using hot plates and how they settle their electricity bills.