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FG pledges to bridge electricity gap with renewable energy

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[FILES] Renewable Energy

The Federal Government, yesterday, lit up communities and healthcare centres in Kogi as part of an ongoing effort to leverage renewable energy and off-grid solutions to bridge the electricity gap.

Over 70 per cent of Nigerians live in rural communities where the World Bank estimated energy access to stand at about 40 per cent. This development has worsened the poverty rate, fueling rural-urban migration.

The prevailing situation coupled with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic may not decline unless underserved and unserved communities are powered to contribute meaningfully to the economy, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) said.

The Government Cottage Hospital, Adavi-Eba, a 250-bed Ukpogo Cottage Hospital, Ukpogo and other Communities were the beneficiaries of the project

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Speaking at the commissioning of a 70.4 kwp solar system project located in Okene and Adavi area of Kogi State, Managing Director of REA, Ahmad Salihijo said the need to deliver clean, safe and reliable energy remained sacrosanct.

He noted that the interventions were timely and necessary, considering the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare infrastructure in the last few months.

“There is an urgent need to continue to close the gap between reliable and sustainable energy and quality healthcare delivery across the nation, Salihijo noted.

The MD stated that being a mandate by the Federal Government, REA would vigorously pursue the responsibility of powering unserved and underserved communities across Nigeria using off-grid solutions.

“Providing and increasing energy access to millions of Nigerians through off-grid solutions is critical as the end goal is to ensure the equitable delivery of the social and economic benefits that will improve lives across the nation,” he added.

“The government would not lose sight of providing clean, safe and reliable energy for healthcare infrastructure in the country, stressing that quality healthcare delivery relies on sustainable energy.

Salihijo said: “We are in no doubt about the continued impact of the Federal Government’s Power Sector Roadmap as well as our capacity to leverage on our off-grid expertise and potential to transform and catalyse rural socio-economic growth and development in Nigeria.”

He however called on community members as well as the hospital management to make the best use and protect power facilities in and around their communities.

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