27 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The European Union, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and others have partnered to provide an 80 kilowatts solar power project in Sokoto state.
The project was co-funded by the European Union, and jointly implemented by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the German International Development Agency, Deutsche Geseuschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) which partnered with the Sokoto State Government and a private investor, GoSolar Africa Energy Limited to develop the project.
While commissioning the project earlier in the month, the Governor, Aminu Tambuwal said more than 500 households in Kurudla Village in Gudu Local Government Area of Sokoto State, would benefit from the solar mini-grid electricity project.
He said “today’s event marks the beginning of a great collaborative effort towards ensuring sustainable growth through renewable energy sector development. It has now become absolutely necessary to take advantage of the ongoing renewable energy effort to ensure self – sufficiency in energy for economic development”. He added that “mini-grid powered by renewable sources is the best option for us to expand electricity access in the rural areas where the national grid is not available”.
The governor then appealed to the community leaders and residents to ensure adequate security of the equipment and personnel handling the project.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Minister of State II, Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, expressed the readiness of the Buhari led administration to work with development partners and the private sector on energy solutions so that those at the remote and underserved rural communities would also have access to reliable and sustainable electricity supply at affordable prices.
The Minister said: “in May 2016, the Federal government initiated the Roadmap of Incremental, Steady, and Uninterrupted Power Supply and adopted the policy of diversifying the Nigerian Energy Mix”.
He added that the Federal government has in the last two years, developed several policies and action plans aimed at developing our renewable energy resources which include: the National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAP) and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) action agenda in line with the Federal government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and particularly to serve as implementation tool for the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (NREEEP) approved by the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) IN 2015. He said, “Federal government has also recently developed a Power Sector Recovery Plan (PSRP) which is aimed at addressing some of the core problems facing the power industry”.
Earlier, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Dietmar Kreusel, had expressed optimism that the introduction of the solar mini-grid would expand access to electricity not just in Kurudla, but in other areas of the country. In a similar vein, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ketil Karlsen, said that over 1.5 billion people globally lacked access to cheap, affordable and steady electricity, which Nigeria falls into.
In his part, the country’s representative of a private firm, GoSolar Africa Energy Limited, Mr. Femi Oye said the provision of the solar project has led to improved life of the people of Kurudla community through improved education, water and jobs as a lot of economic activities such as millers, iron benders as well as shops and saloons have started springing up in the area.