Presidential Solar Power Project: Over 50, 000 Ebonyi households to benefit


By Victor Nwegede

At least, fifty thousand (50,000) Ebonyi households would benefit from the Presidential Solar connections Initiative to increase electricity access in the state.

The Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr Kelechi Igwe disclosed this at a meeting with the grassroot stakeholders.

Igwe said that the purpose of the meeting is to carry relevant stakeholders along in the location and execution of the solar power project.

"We believe this is the way to go. The essence of this meeting is for the Communities to take ownership of this project and we are giving each Community up to Saturday this week to designate a place where this solar electricity project will be sited in each of the communities," he said.

He said solar is the cheapest source of energy hence the decision of Ebonyi State Government to key into the presidential solar connections Initiative, adding that it will be sustained since  Nigeria is a tropical region where sunlight is free.

The state acting Commissioner for Power and Energy, Engr Godwin Nwankwo  said the project is anchored through Central Bank of Nigeria, while Ebonyi State Government will guarantee the tender through service providers

He gave an assurance that the project when completed will be cheaper, reliable and uninterrupted as well as create jobs and provide revenue for government.

Nwankwo said the project is meant to give 5milion electricity supply to different households in the country, and added that, Ebonyi was through the effort of Governor David Umahi, given an opportunity to key into the programme.

"The state government stands a chance of drawing down 1.2 billion Naira on the programme . The  is not usual Electricity supply, it is going to be none grid supply and is going to be solar powered, he said.

"We are going to give supply,  non-grid, that's the solar power, to about 50, 000 households in Ebonyi State. Over 303 people will benefit from this programme. The programme is anchored by the Federal Ministry of power and energy, but it is a Presidential initiative. Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN will fund the programme, but we will nominate the solar provider for the state, whom we are going to guarantee.  So, if we guarantee them, they will source from CBN and when the programme is done, a revenue is generated from it.

"It is a long term loan agreement and we have started by holding meeting with the local government chairmen, coordinators, town union presidents, traditional rulers, and were given three days to provide us with a space. The providers will arrive this evening from Abuja and 140 communities must benefit from this project.

He stressed: "In a case of the community where the dwellers are scattered, or households are scattered, we cluster them and supply them with solar power plant according to the number of their households. If you are twenty in a place, we check your energy requirement, and put the solar that can serve people there."


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