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Thursday, July 12, 2007

300 laptop challenge for PHCN

Market Intelligence:

Fortnight ago, a Nigerian school, Galadima Primary School located at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, received a gift of 300 laptops from the United States based One-Laptop Per Child (OLPC).

But one nagging challenge for the programme is lack of electricity power supply to the school and its vicinity.

This, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, was made pen ultimate Friday by the coordinator of the One-Laptop-Per-Child programme (OLPC)
Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, who made the donation on behalf of the organisation, said the two-block Galadima Primary School has no electricity.

Noteworthy is that Galadima Primary is the first school in the country where each pupil has his or her own laptops.

The report also quoted a primary six pupil, Juliet Onah as saying, that they were browsing the Internet with the laptop and excited, but wondered how they could recharge the batteries of these laptops.

As said by the report, “powering the laptop remained difficult as the school had no electricity and the supply at home was irregular.”

This stressed the fact that electricity has indeed remained a big challenge in the country, presumably the world’s sixth largest exporter of crude oil.

Coincidentally, electricity was one of the top agendas of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

Over the years Nigerian have been lamenting the situation, which stands between them and growth in the evolving Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

This has been in spite of huge fund channelled towards changing the processes in the now Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in the past eight years, making Nigerians to rename PHCN as Poverty Holding Company of Nigeria.

In other words, processes of privatisation which have begun in PHCN, if anything else should be fast-forwarded in the first six months of Yar’Adua’s administration, because going by the recent assertion of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, electricity has become a thorn in the flesh for investors in the country and ICT particularly, hence if there is any progress to be made, it has to be fixed and he really mean fixed.

Also, this was obviously the reason ATCON has planned a workshop on ‘State of Energy & Power: Implications for Telecom Development in Nigeria’ for late this month, which he noted was not only essential to telecoms, but to all other sectors of the nation’s economy as well as the citizenry.


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2 comments:

Emeka Okafor said...

The OLPC folks should take a leaf from individuals like Simeon Mwacharo

Steve Anabu said...

The PHCN and principally the Ministry of Mines and Power should visit South Africa and Isreal to find out how they blend their Solar Energy usage and the Nuclear Resources. PHCN delibrately purchased obsollet equipment is the problem. They should stop buying refurbished eqpt. No room for Tokunbo in NEPA - What a bad name, even PHCN - Steve Anabu

Konga