Goverment to deploy 19,000 solar systems with Rural Electrification Fund
• Powers Communities In Ogun, Oyo
The Federal Government will deploy 19,000 Solar Home Systems (SHS), using a Rural Electrification Fund (REF), which was established to provide more equitable access to electricity across the country.
The government, through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), has also powered communities in Ogun and Oyo states, including Olooji community in Ijebu East, Ogun State, which reportedly had no electricity for over two centuries.
Speaking during the commissioning of a 100KWP solar-powered off-grid electricity system in the community, Managing Director, REA, Ahmad Salihijo, said the government would pursue the provision of clean, safe, and reliable energy, using the first set of grants through the Federal Government’s REF.
Salihijo said: “REF is Federal Government’s initiative, implemented by the REA to promote off-grid electrification and ensure that electricity is equitably distributed across Nigeria. Therefore, interventions, such as these, are being delivered across all zones.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration understands the nexus between reliable energy and development. To deliver on our mandate, interventions such as this are designed to deliver the energy needs of Nigerians and enhance the socio-economic status of beneficiary communities.”
He said the initiative would ultimately boost productivity and provide jobs in the community, especially spurring entrepreneurial skills and resourcefulness of the people, adding that quality of lives would improve and children would have better learning experiences with access to reliable electricity.
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Oladotun Taiwo, emphasised the need to leverage novel technologies to aid the availability of reliable and sustainable electricity in Nigeria.
“I will encourage my people to optimise the use of this new infrastructure. We will also ensure other facilities within the community get energised through this mini-grid. We must collectively leverage on possible investment opportunities,” he said.
The traditional ruler of the community, the Ajalorun of Ijebu-Ife, Adesesan Oguntayo said: “ Our main crop is cocoa, kola nut and palm oil and timber merchandising. Light is very important in life and we are happy the Federal Government is interested in this community.”