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FG begins five million solar power scheme, plans rollout in geopolitical zones

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo flagged off The Solar Power Naija-part of ESP nationwide plan to deliver 5m connections to off-grid communities in Jangefe, Jigawa State. Photos: Twitter


A plan to deliver electricity to about 25 million Nigerians whose communities are off the grid has been launched by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Jangefe Community, Roni Local Government Area of Jigawa State.
  
The scheme, known as Solar Power Naija programme comes under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) and guarantees access to cheap and environmentally friendly renewable energy.

The Solar Power Naija programme, which is designed by the Rural Electrification Agency is an ambitious initiative that aims to create five million connections through a N140 billion financing programme that will support private developers to provide power for five million households. 

“After Jangefe, “ according to the VP, the rollout will continue “across the six geopolitical zones in Edo, Lagos, Adamawa, Anambra, Kebbi and Plateau. Other solar companies are also in the pipeline for the Solar Power Naija facility to continue the march to five million connections during the life of this administration,” the Vice President said.

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The scheme is expected to cover 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The commencement of the Solar Power Naija programme means the community will get 1,000 solar home systems connections for its about 5,000 population.
 
The Vice President, said the commencement of the installation in Jigawa, is part of a 100,000 scheme with A-SOLAR, a local solar power company.
 
The Jangefe community in Jigawa, which is the first location to be covered by the A-Solar company, will pay monthly energy payments until the systems are fully paid for after which there will be a transfer of ownership to each consumer in the community.
 
The Vice President noted that the government could no longer rely solely on the grid, “if we were to electrify the whole country. Which meant that we had to develop an effective strategy for decentralising power supply.
 
“A mass solar programme seemed like a real chance to kill several birds with one stone; electrify the country and in the process, create thousands of jobs from solar assembly and manufacturing plants to installers, payment system operators, and maintenance of solar systems once installed. “  

Osinbajo further stated that the solar power programme is a public-private sector partnership supported by concessionary lending via the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks.
 
The VP noted that structures have been put in place to make the connections cost affordable for all.  “In addition to the concessionary lending rates, the Government has provided subsidies and rebates for private developers to the tune of over $200 million under the Rural Electrification Agency and World Bank Nigeria Electrification Programme,” he stated.

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