11 March 2014, Abuja – The Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) has secured from the Japanese government, a $10 million grant-in-aid facility to build a solar-powered plant that would provide off-grid electricity supply to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The plant will mostly power the water treatment plant of the FCT Water Board at the Lower Usman Dam, situated at Bwari Area Council of Abuja.
Permanent secretary in the ministry of power, Godknows Igali stated in a release that the federal government was commitment to the project for the operational efficiency that it would bring to the water treatment plant.
Although, lucid details on the project was not provided by the ministry, Igali however hinted that there was a possibility of seeing improvements in power supply to people of the area when the project is completed.
He said renewable energy remained valuable to the Nigerian society in view of the abundant availability of raw material employed by it to generate sustainable energy within the society.
While commending the government and people of Japan for the pilot scheme, Igali also said the project was an extension of the federal government’s belief in and pursuit of renewable energy sources for the benefit of Nigerians.
He said that JICA has also done well for Nigeria in the area of rural electrification, water resources development and environment.
“In fact the agency has done superlatively well in training Nigerian technicians that would man the solar plant when completed,” Igali said.
The Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil commended the JICA for its lead in rural electrification in other states of the federation, such as Borno where the company is committed to assist the Nigerian government in boosting power supply. He also assured Nigerians on the timely completion of the project and protection from vandalism.
The Country Representative of JICA, Seki Tetsuo in his remarks, assured that the grant-in-aid given from Japan would be judiciously utilised for the project.
The project when completed in December 2015 is expected to contribute to the rural economy of Bwari and its environ with the guarantee of reliable power supply. Parties to the project include the Federal Ministry of Power, JICA, FCT Water Board and Ministries of Water Resources and Environment. The statement noted that they signed a technical agreement that will see the project take off in May 2014.
– Chineme Okafor, This Day