FG Connects 40,000 Nigerians to Solar Mini-grid Projects

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By Emmanuel Addeh

The Minister of Power, Mr. Sale Mamman, yesterday said the federal government had so far connected some 40,000 Nigerians through the construction of 30 new solar mini-grid projects in various parts of the country.

Speaking during a ‘Solar Nigeria’ event in Kano, where 12 schools and health centres were officially hooked to the solar off-grid system, the minister stated that the projects were completed in collaboration with the European Union and implemented by the Department for International Development (DFID).

He added that the ministry will also provide five million households with solar home systems under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), aimed at increasing electricity access and reducing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the projects were implemented under a framework, which provides sustainable, reliable and affordable energy supply consistent with Nigeria’s commitment to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

According to him, the projects will enhance the lives of people through improved healthcare, education, water and job creation.

Mamman committed the federal government to sustaining the policy of providing electricity to remote and underserved rural communities nationwide using distributed power generation with locally available resources.

“As at today, at least more than 30 new mini-grid projects have been commissioned across the country, providing reliable power supply to over 40,000 people in off-grid areas.

“These projects are mostly developed through public-private partnership, confirming the confidence of the private sector.

“The ministry will also provide five million households with solar home systems under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan, which is aimed at increasing electricity access and reducing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

The solar projects inaugurated by Mamman included a 95kw in Getso Primary Health Centre, 79.20kw in Ajingy Primary Health Centre, 79.20kw in Tsanyawa Primary Health Centre, 47.25kW in Dandinshe Primary Health Centre and 15.84kW in Ganduje Primary Health Centre.

Other projects listed by the ministry are a 15.84kw project in Gwarmai Primary Health Centre, 95kw in Girls Science College Garko, 79.20kw in Government Secondary School, Gwarzo, 79.20kw in Science College Dowakin Tofa, 47.25kw in Government Girls’ College Kano (Former WTC), 15.84kw in Government Girls’ Arabic Secondary School Dambatta and 15.84kw in Ganduje Primary School.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), the EU and German government have launched a new online platform to attract investments in renewables in the Nigerian power sector.

The programme is a technical assistance programme co-funded by the EU and the German government, and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in collaboration with the ministry of power.

The government noted that the digital platform will provide easy access to relevant information for investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Nigeria.

According to the federal government, the platform will present technical, regulatory and economic information aimed at de-risking projects and scaling up investments in the sector.

In a welcome address, the Executive Secretary of NIPC, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, expressed the commitment of the commission to promoting increased investments in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector in Nigeria.

According to her, the platform will help potential investors to get easy access to the high quality information they need to make faster and better informed decisions about investing in Nigeria’s green economy.

Director of Renewable and Rural Power access at the ministry of power, Mr. Faruk Yabo, expressed the hope that the platform will help improve the technical and economic viability of the Nigerian power sector for increased investments in renewable projects to promote power supply