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Federal ministries install solar systems, urge others to follow suit

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[FILES] Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

Amid poor power supply in the country, two federal ministries—Works and Housing, and Environment and Lands—have installed 1.52 MegaWatts solar systems that would provide uninterrupted power to their office blocks.

According to a statement by the Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola, yesterday, the development would see to the reduction of average diesel consumption from 764,248 litres per annum to 166,825 litres per annum and cost-saving of N270,945,000 over 20 years and contribute towards the reduction of government operational expenses and reduction of recurrent expenditure.

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Fashola, who spoke at the commissioning and installation of the Solar PV and Micro-Grid Power system in Abuja, said the project was approved by the Federal Executive Council on March 20, 2019 at the time when the Ministry of Power was part of Works and Housing.

He said the project has led to the upgrade and retrofitting of electrical appliances by replacing 400 old air-conditioning units with 400 new inverter-based energy-efficient air-conditioning units; and replacing 2,600 old light fittings with energy-efficient LED ones, all of which are energy-saving because they consume 40 per cent less energy.

Fashola urged other government buildings to follow this path, saying: “Our team will be most enthusiastic to provide support and share our experiences and lessons learned, working with the Ministry of Power.

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“This project employed 382 artisans and 176 skilled workers throughout its duration, in fulfillment of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of creating jobs.”

He added: “With this investment, we have built our own mini-grid, in consonance with our administration’s policy to promote off-grid option, thereby making more of the on-grid power available to ordinary Nigerians who cannot afford the cost of investing in off-grid power.

“To our contractor, I express deep appreciation for the efficient execution and more importantly for the sacrifice to complete this project in spite of the wide disparity between the foreign exchange rates in 2019 when the project was awarded and now, notwithstanding high importation costs of the parts.”

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