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Subsidy removal: FG provides solar alternative power to Nigerians



Engr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), on Friday, said the Federal Government is providing solar energy alternatives to Nigerians in a bid to cushion the effect of subsidy removal on businesses and households.

Ahmad who was speaking after the inspection of REA’s Energizing Economies Intitiative (EEI) project in Ayegbaju International Martket, Osogbo, said the Federal Government, through REA, is setting up alternative solar energy system to cater for electricity undeserved Nigerians.

He also explained that the concept of the EEI project was to provide alternative and clean solar energy to Nigerians, so as to reduce or abolish the use of carbon monoxide petrol-powered generators.

“We came to our Zonal office in Osun and we decided to do a short inspection of the Energizing Economies Intitiative (EEI) that we have in Ayegbaju International Market, Osogbo.

“We came to see the progress of the work and we are very happy with what we have seen here today.

“The concept is to see how we can work with the market association and most importantly, work with the state government to scale-up solar power supply to the whole market,” he said.

He said the construction of the solar system at the Ayegbaju Market is about 95 per cent completed and that the power generation of the system is targeted at 30kwp.

He said at the pilot phase now, the solar power electricity is being test run on 48 shops and that in the long run, it would be extended to all the shops in the market.

He said with the interaction he had with the leadership of the market, shop owners are interested in the solar power project, as an alternative power source to run their operations/shops.

“What we have seen is the tremendous interest of the market people in the solar energy alternative, especially using it to replace petrol generators, in the face of subsidy removal,” he said.

He said as a follow up to the inspection and interaction with the market people, he would meet and work with developers, Osun State Government and even the market association, to draw a roadmap of how the project would be sustained and scaled up to cover the entire market.

He said with the solar system initiative, REA has been able to demonstrate a concept of solar power generation and supply, and that they can now bring in and work with other stakeholders to scale it up to the demand of Nigerians who are unserved and undeserved with electricity.

“Over 148 sites have been audited directly by REA,” saying “support from partners, such as E-guide and Rockefeller Foundation, will enhance the Energizing Economies Intitiative (EEI) project.

“It is from these sites that Ayegbaju International Market, Osogbo, and Abubakar Gumi Market, Kaduna, were selected to deliver the next phase of EEI projects,” he said.

He said they are taking into account the lessons learnt from phases zero and one of the project initiative and would use it as model for sustainable and collaborative projects with state governments and Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

“Once the solar system construction is completed, the State Governments or DisCos, developers, and REA will be able to sit with the Market Associations to sign a multilateral agreement which ensures the long term viability of the project while ensuring energy access to the markets.

“These projects will also provide the much needed relief to businesses in these markets by reducing their dependence on petrol generators while increasing the penetration of renewable energy sources,” he said.

Olajide Idowu

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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