Muni University's top leadership made this revelation while appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (Central) (PAC) on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 to answer queries from the Auditor General’s Report in the Financial Year 2020/2021.
Muni University runs to Parliament over power outages in West Nile
Arua-based Muni University has ran to parliament for intervention over the power outages in the area that have pushed their costs of operation through the roof.
According to Emmanuel Banya, Muni University Secretary, the science-based university is not connected to the national grid and draws its power from the Nyagak Power Plant and Electromax which have been under public scrutiny for intermittent power supply.
As a result, Banya said, the outages have forced the university to resort to solar power and a 1,500 KV diesel-powered generator which is extremely expensive to run a university.
“On average, we spend 8litres of diesel per hour, meaning that on one full day of no power, we spend 192 liters, which translates to about Shs1.1m,” Banya said.
He said that some laboratory equipment like Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Machine, and high capacity fridge for preserving laboratory equipment have been out of regular use due to power shortages.
Banya said it is a result of a rampant power blackout that forced the university to acquire the generator to extend better electricity supply in the multipurpose health science laboratory to make this equipment functional.
“Annually, we have been budgeting at a range of about Shs30m. Eventually, this money has become less and less and cannot sustain the generator for the entire year,” he said.
PAC Chairperson, Hon Medard Sseggona, wondered why Government established Muni University without consideration of the source of power and proposed that the university be liquidated.
“It is expensive to continue running a university on a generator, but it goes back to planning, how could we establish a science-based university which does not access electricity? Maybe we should liquidate and wind up this university and take it elsewhere,” Hon Sseggona said.
The accountability committee is slated to interface with Mbarara University of Science and Technology as well as Uganda Management Institute (UMI) tomorrow, Wednesday 28 September 2022.
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