The inauguration of the project, which was initially planned to be performed by President Goodluck Jonathan in Durumi, a suburb in Mpape area of Abuja on Thursday, was, however, postponed to Saturday.
Hundreds of residents, who thronged the venue, were left disappointed when it was announced that the President could not make it to the community for undisclosed reasons.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, in an interview with our correspondent, stated that the solar power project would provide improved and less expensive lighting for rural dwellers.
He said the project would incorporate the installation of non-grid decentralised mini solar wind power generation plants that would be able to serve the electricity needs of the community
According to Nebo, the solar power project will provide a few hundred kilowatts, sufficient to light up homes and streets of communities in select local government areas in 16 states across the federation.
This, he said, would be in the short term of about six months, with a goal of lighting up most communities in the select local government areas by December this year.
The minister explained that it was almost impossible to extend the power grid to all rural areas in the country, adding, “This leaves a majority of Nigerians who live in the rural areas without access to electricity.”
“Providing access to electricity through alternative energy is a technology of necessity for Nigeria. As an alternative energy option, solar and wind power generation will be a practical alternative to supplementing electricity supply in Nigeria,” Nebo said.
The minister said the project was cost-effective in areas where electricity could not be supplied, especially in the rural, riverside and areas that were remote to the current power grid and energy sources such as waterfalls.
– The Punch