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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Power's Extra

Well, it was the thought that's counts. Right?

A Nigerian school has received a gift of 300 laptops -- one per pupil -- but has no electricity to power them up, the official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Friday.

Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, coordinator of the One-Laptop-Per-Child programme (OLPC) that donated the computer, said the two-block Galadima Primary School in the centre of the federal capital Abuja had no electricity.

Galadima Primary is the first school in the country where each pupil has his own laptop, NAN said.

"We have been browsing the Internet and we are very happy", Juliet Onah, an excited primary six pupil, was quoted as saying.

But she said powering the laptop remained difficult as the school had no electricity and the supply at home was irregular.

Electricity is indeed a big problem in Nigeria, the world's sixth largest exporter of crude oil. Electricity is provided mainly in the cities and even there the service is at best erratic.

Most homes and private businesses rely on generators.

The OLPC was founded by Nicholas Negroponte, an American professor, to provide laptops to all pupils at 100 dollars by 2008, as a way of ensuring the penetration of information and communication technology in developing countries.

Nigeria's also home to a history of constant coup attempts and governmental upheaval. These kids were just given really expensive paper weights.