The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has flagged-off the process to build solar mini-grid plants in 66 communities and connect 2.5 million people across 12,422 households nationwide.
Managing Director of REA, Damilola Ogunbiyi, in a summary sheet, said the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP) covered 66 communities in four States in the Phase I: Niger, Sokoto, Ogun and Cross River, of which about 24.5MW of electricity would be generated in the benefiting communities to energize 1,710 local businesses.
While sensitizing residents of Tasha Hajia, a yam-producing and grain marketing hub in Niger State, the REA State Coordinator (Niger) and Team Leader for the State, Abubakar Ahmed, said with communities’ consent, REA and World Bank would engage mini-grid developers based on grants to energize the unserved communities. The mini-grids are expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2019.
Ahmed said, “This provides electricity to communities that are unconnected to the national grid, increases business productivity by replacing generators and lanterns with reliable electricity.”
He further told the people that, “It will also improve your community’s security through street lights, and provide clean and affordable electricity to the rural dwellers here.”
According to the District Head of Tasha Hajia, Alhaji Muhammadu Kolo, “My subjects will support the project as they have been starved of grid electricity. I learnt it will solve energy needs for our businesses too, but we don’t want it to be erratic.”