By Emmanuel Addeh
The federal government has taken its rural electrification drive to Budo-Are community, Itesiwaju local government, Oyo state, with the official inauguration of a 100KWP solar hybrid mini-grid project in the area.
Speaking during the event, the Oyo state Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, noted that the facility which was built by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in collaboration with a private firm, would rev up economic activities in the benefitting communities.
The governor who was represented by the State Commissioner for Energy and Community Development, Mr. Temilolu Ashamu, said the completion of the project by the federal government’s energy development agenda aligns with the state government’s energy plan for the people of Oyo.
He said in his determination to ensure that no community in the state was left behind, especially as it concerns power, the current administration in the state had created a Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and selected 23 communities to empower with the solar project in partnership with REA and private developers.
While appreciating the federal government, REA and the project developer for being partners in progress regarding the project, he expressed the hope that with private developers, Oyo will have 30 mini-grids in in the next 12 months.
Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director REA, Mr. Ahmad Sahilijo , thanked the state government for the encouragement given the agency and the development partner while the project lasted.
He urged the people to utilise the opportunity presented to them to enhance their livelihood, adding that the community now has the advantage of attracting investment from far and near.
A resident of the area, Mr. Anayo Eze said since the solar project was energised months ago, many business opportunities had come to the area with several residents now into various types of businesses, especially at the micro, small and medium scale levels.
“As you can see, there is light now, quality light that can power almost all home appliances, and it is 24 hours. It is even attracting people from neighbouring communities to this place now. We should grateful to the government,” he said.
The inauguration of the project came a day after another 100KWP project was commissioned by the REA in Olooji community in Ijebu-East council of Ogun state.