The Lagos State Ministry of Education has engaged the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in talks to reduce the billing affixed to public primary and secondary schools within the state.
The Ministry has also disclosed that it would collect the burden of debts currently owed by many of its schools.
Education Commissioner, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo called on the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to cooperate with the Ministry to solve perennial power issues in many public schools in the state.
Recall that it was disclosed, last year, that over 1,016 primary schools in the state have had their power supply disconnected, because of non-payment of outstanding bills.
The schools were forced to rely on generators to pump water, a vital requirement for safeguarding against COVID-19. Fueling the generators came from meagre running cost, which many head teachers complained was insufficient.
Adefisayo revealed that the ministry had directed the Lagos State Infrastructure Management Agency (LASIAMA) to retrieve the bills from the schools and manage them forthwith.
Lamenting the outstanding bill burden, Mrs. Adefisayo appealed to the holding company to negotiate with the ministry to reduce the amount payable.
She said: “A lot of them (schools) do not have power; and that is why we are working with facilities management department (LASIAMA). One of the first things they have to do is to collect outstanding bills from PHCN. The outstanding bills are an incredible amount. We hope we will be able to discuss with PHCN. I have never seen PHCN climb down but we just hope that they will look us with some compassion because the bills are indeed unprecedented. We are negotiating. But going forward we are paying for bills wherever we have them, especially in our Government Technical Colleges.”
She said that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu -led administration would continue to invest in inputs that would improve quality education, including new school buildings, improved infrastructure, recruitment and training of teachers.Follow us on social media