UNILAG PLUNGED INTO DARKNESS AFTER NATIONAL POWER SYSTEM COLLAPSE

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By Temilade Oso

The University of Lagos, which had been enjoying steady power supply, was recently plunged into darkness after the nationwide power system collapse on the 8th of May, 2019.

The development resulted in the use generators to supply electricity on rotation to the halls of residence within the school.

But the real problem began before that, on the 29th of April, when the lights went off in few of the halls of residences including Honours, Biobaku, Kofo Ademola, and Queen Amina halls, at 10 o’clock in the morning without being restored till evening.

It was not a regular occurrence, and students were confident that the issue would be resolved by the next day. But the situation persisted till Thursday of the same week.

After that, things went back to normal until Tuesday 8th May, the day of the nationwide electricity collapse.

A broadcast message was disseminated by the the Dean of Students Affairs to the students’ Whatsapp group chat.

“There is a nationwide power system collapse at the moment. In view of this, we are going to be on generators until supply is restored.

“From 7.15pm tonight, Moremi, Mariere, Jaja and the New Hall complex will have power/light for two hours. Thereafter, power will be shifted to the remaining halls. The rotation will continue until power is restored. Please bear with us,” the message read.

This brought little comfort to the students, who were writing tests during this period. Many students could not read for their tests at night. Phone and laptop batteries died unceremoniously.

They could not cook without electricity to power their hot plates, and had to spend money on buying food everyday on limited budgets.

Water supply in the hostels also dried up, without electricity with which to pump water. The heat in the hostels were unbearable.

Students complained bitterly, and tempers were in danger of rising beyond boiling point.

However, as at the time of filing this report, the power situation seems to have normalized. But students have appealed to the university management to look into the problem and develop measures to manage future system collapses, to ensure that the nightmare does not occur again.

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