The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Engr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, announced on Friday that the Federal Government is taking proactive measures to address the issue of electricity shortages in Nigeria by providing solar energy alternatives to businesses and households. This initiative aims to cushion the impact of subsidy removal and reduce the reliance on carbon monoxide petrol-powered generators.
Engr. Ahmad, during his inspection of the REA’s Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) project at Ayegbaju International Market in Osogbo, emphasized that the Federal Government, through the REA, is committed to establishing alternative solar energy systems to cater to underserved communities in Nigeria. The EEI project focuses on delivering clean and sustainable solar energy solutions to Nigerians, with the goal of phasing out the use of petrol-powered generators.
The solar system being constructed at Ayegbaju Market is currently 95% complete, with a targeted power generation capacity of 30kwp. In the pilot phase, the solar power electricity is being tested on 48 shops, and the plan is to extend its coverage to all shops in the market. Engr. Ahmad expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far and highlighted the strong interest shown by market traders in adopting solar energy as an alternative power source for their operations.
Following the inspection, Engr. Ahmad stated that he would collaborate with developers, the Osun State Government, and the market association to develop a sustainable roadmap for scaling up the project to cover the entire market. The solar system initiative by the REA serves as a demonstration of solar power generation and supply, which can now be expanded in collaboration with other stakeholders to meet the demands of unserved and underserved Nigerians.
Engr. Ahmad further revealed that REA has audited over 148 sites and is receiving support from partners such as E-guide and the Rockefeller Foundation, which will enhance the implementation of the EEI project. Ayegbaju International Market in Osogbo and Abubakar Gumi Market in Kaduna have been selected as the next phase delivery locations based on the lessons learned from previous phases of the project.
To ensure the long-term viability of the project and energy access to the markets, once the solar system construction is completed, the REA will facilitate multilateral agreements between the State Governments or Distribution Companies (DisCos), developers, and the Market Associations. These agreements will provide relief to businesses in these markets by reducing their dependence on petrol generators and increasing the utilization of renewable energy sources.
The Federal Government’s plan to introduce solar energy alternatives represents a significant step towards addressing the electricity problem in Nigeria. By providing clean, sustainable, and affordable energy solutions, this initiative will enhance economic activities, improve living conditions, and promote environmental sustainability in the country.
Source: Vanguard News
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