As part Federal Government’s policy to provide electricity to rural communities across the country, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) on Tuesday inaugurated 85KWP Solar Hybrid Mini-grid in Dakiti, Akko Local Government of Gombe State.
The power plant also consists of 100 solar panels, 96 batteries and over 4.5KM distribution network cables and is expected to serve over 1500 people in the area with constant electricity.
REA Managing Director of REA, Mr. Ahmad Salihijo, who spoke at the event noted that the project has been successfully deployed under the First REF Call of the Federal Government’s Rural Electrification Fund (REF), an initiative designed to promote off-grid electrification and ensure that electricity is equitably distributed across Nigeria.
He stated that having been saddled with the responsibility of powering unserved and underserved communities across Nigeria using off-grid solutions, the agency had taken the initiative to several states, including Kogi, Kebbi, Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom.
He said: “It might interest you to know that through this first Rural Electrification Fund (REF) Call, we are ensuring electricity access across 12 communities and deploying over 19,000 Solar Home Systems (SHS) across the nation.
“We have commissioned this kind of project in Kogi, Kebbi, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom and much more across the country. I can confidently tell you it is working and we will continue to do more.
“These interventions are testaments of the federal government’s resolve to improve energy infrastructure across Nigeria, especially in unserved and underserved communities,” he said.
He added that with the deliberate plan to power Nigeria, more communities will be energised across the country under the 2nd Call of the REF as well as other REA programmes.
He said the agency’s intervention in off-grid communities is key to accelerating national development, stressing that “great opportunities abound in communities such as Dakiti. With the availability of sustainable and reliable energy, these opportunities can be harnessed through productive use of energy infrastructure”.
Salihijo lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering support in driving the agency’s mandate that has continued to steer the process of transformation In the energy sector.
In his remarks, Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya commended the Federal Government for the project, noting that the 85KWP solar hybrid project will provide constant power supply that would increase the income of the people.
He added that the project that is of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) will improve business activities and productivity of the people while ensuring good education for school children.
He pledged the government’s support for all electrification projects in the State including that of the agency.
“It is important to stress that the benefits of clean and safe and constant electricity will increase the income of the people in this community through improved business activities as well as improve productivity of the people while ensuring good education for school children.
“I want to assure you that the people of Gombe State, will do our best to support not just this project but all electrification projects to ensure greater success and sustainability because the impact is already changing lives,” the governor noted.
He urged the benefitting communities to treat the project as their own by guarding it against vandalism and in ensuring prompt payments of electricity consumed.
On his part, Akko Local Government Chairman, Abubakar Baranbu said “Dakati can now experience what electricity brings in economic prosperity”.
He described the project as “a major development and a new business opportunities in milling, processing, storage and external trades will now become a reality for our industrious people”.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the company which executed the project, Leading Diagonal Engineering Nigeria Limited, Mr Abdallah Kasimu, explained that in delivering the project, the company made use of the communities’ local labour force thereby training and providing them with employment.
On his part, the Emir of Gona, who was represented by Abubakar Usman said “this electricity, I believe, will bring positive impact to this community and as we have already seen while making our way to the commissioning venue.
“I noticed prosperous businesses as well as electrified homes and it is my belief that at night every corner of this community is illuminated with streetlights and security assured”.