|Prof. Osinbajo and othes|
Federal Government has flagged off the distribution of 20,000 solar powered lighting system in rural communities in Nigeria.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo flagged off the programme, on Tuesday at Wuna village, a rural community in Gwagwalada, Abuja with the distribution of 200 units to the villagers in the first phase.
Osinbajo noted that irrespective of the importance of power to national development, it was not feasible for every Nigerian to tap from the national grid.
The VP said this realisation, compelled government to start searching for alternative means of providing power to less fortunate Nigerians, especially at the grassroots, hence the solar powered systems.
The acting president also disclosed that a total of 20,000 solar system would be distributed in homes across rural communities in the course of the year.
The power system fell in line with government’s objective of increasing energy production from renewable energy 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.
The project is in conjunction with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company(NDPHC) and Azuri technologies.
Osinbajo said,”In September 2015 President, Muhammadu Buhari spoke to me about what we could do to very quickly accelerate electrification especially in the rural areas.
“We had in mind different manner of projects that we could do to bring electricity to many of our rural communities and villages. He was particularly concerned as we spoke about farming and also education in the rural areas.
“How would we be able to get maximum irrigation facilities, maximum facilities for education. How do we maximise these things if we can’t get power to those areas? Water pumps, irrigation equipment among others.
“Renewable energy, especially solar power seemed to be the one that will be cost effective and that we could deploy 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 are starting with 20,000 but I am sure that we’ll add up very quickly. We’ve been talking to the private sector, involving them also in this project. We think that as solar power becomes cheaper, it is becoming cheaper day by day we’ll be able to afford to do even more and deploy more across the country, especially to those places that are not at the moment being served by our grid.
“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”, he stated.