Acting President,Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, flagged of the distribution of 20,000 solar powered lighting system in rural communities in the country. The 20,000 solar system would be distributed in homes across rural communities in the course of the year.
Osinbajo flagged off the programme yesterday at Wuna village, a rural community in Gwagwalada, Abuja. The project, a Federal Government’s initiative targets distribution of 200 units of the solar power system to the villagers in the first phase.
The project is in conjunction with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and Azuri technologies. It has the capacity to provide energy to power, at least, four Led light bulbs, mobile phones, radio, irrigation facilities and bore-hole system, among others.
The Acting President said irrespective of the importance of power to national development, “it is not feasible for every Nigerian to tap from the national grid.”
Osinbajo said it was this realisation that compelled government to start searching for alternative means of providing power to Nigerians, especially those at the grassroots.
It is estimated that about 70 million households in Nigeria are yet to be connected to the national grid.
Osinbajo said the power system was in line with government’s objective of increasing energy production from renewable sources from 13 percent of total electricity generation in 2015 to 23 percent in 2025 and 36 percent in 2030, including the goal to increase the percentage contribution of solar energy in the total energy mix. “In September 2015 President, Muhammadu Buhari spoke to me about what we could do to accelerate electrification, especially in the rural areas.
He was, particularly, concerned as we spoke about farming and education in the rural areas; how to get maximum irrigation and education facilities with power to those areas,” Osinbajo said. “We realised that renewable energy, especially solar power, seemed to be cost effective and could be deployed very quickly all over the country. “Once we took that decision we came across Azuri. We expect that this will be replicated all over Nigeria.
“We’re starting with 20,000, but I am sure we’ll add up very quickly. We’ve been talking to the private sector for partnership in this project. We think as solar power becomes cheaper day by day, we’ll be able to deploy more across the country, especially to those places not being served by our grid at the moment.
“The grid is one transmission centre but we cannot take all our power from the grid. So, in the next few years it will not be extremely important to be connected with the grid because we’ll be deploying every kind of solution.”