FG Lights Up Edo Community After 60-Years Of Darkness

Honourable Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, OFR commissioning 100KWP solar hybrid mini-grid power plant in Adebayo community, Ovia-South local government area of Edo State 

The Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, on Wednesday on behalf of the federal government, commissioned a 100KWP solar hybrid mini-grid power plant in Adebayo community, Ovia-South local government area of Edo State.

The community which has become one of the beneficiaries of the government's 19,000 Solar Homes System (SHS) schemes, implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency, (REA) is now enjoying 24-hour electricity after battling darkness for over sixty years.

The power plant consists of 294 high grade solar panels, 72 batteries, 20 street lights and about 27KM distribution network cables. It has the capacity of powering 800 homes and, it currently has 400 connections to the mini grid. 

Speaking, Jedy Agba who is the supervising Minister of REA, the implementing agency said that he was excited that the community has been energized after over six decades of darkness.

He averred that although electricity deficit has been an albatross for far too long, he is positive that through the off-grid solutions, Nigerians across all geopolitical zones will continue to witness improved power supply aided by renewable energy.

While maintaining that renewable energy solutions are what the country need to quickly bridge the electricity gap in the country, he promised that his ministry will continue to create enabling environment through favourable policies for investment in renewable energy.

"I'm honoured to be a part of yet another momentous achievement of the Rural Electrification Agency in collaboration with the federal ministy of power.

"As always, the Ministry of Power will continue to provide support needed for the implementation of all federal government policies in the diversification of the energy sector. It has become obvious that renewable energy solutions are what we need to quickly bridge the electricity gap in the nation as the grid cannot sufficiently cater for the energy needs of all Nigerians", he said.

While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and commitment to improved power supply in the country, he charged the community to "take advantage of this intervention to better your lives, improve local economy and the economy of the state".

In his remarks, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of REA, Ahmad Salihijo said that the government's investment in rural electrification was key to accelerating true national development.

Salihijo noted that "It is evident that our intervention in off-grid communities is key to accelerating true national development as great opportunities abound in communities such as Adebayo community. With the availability of sustainable and reliable energy, these opportunities can be harnessed through the productive use of energy infrastructure.

"I therefore encourage the great people of this great community to optimize this intervention and leverage the availability of clean, safe and reliable energy for impact".

On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Hon. Magaji-Da-u Aliyu, represented by his deputy, Hon. Oberuakpefe Anthony Afe, representing Unwie federal constituency, Delta State said that "the grid is overburdened, so the solar hybrid mini grid is a strategic move to open up novel markets to cater for our electricity needs through forward-leaning policies and programmes to close the electricity gap".

He assured that the 9th assembly will continue to steer developmental actions around energy infrastructure by powering their constituencies with off-grid solutions.

Village head of the community, Baale Chief Lateef Agbaje said that the project was an indication that the federal government cares about every Nigerian including those living in rural communities.

According to him, "Our community is very industrious. We have very hardworking men, women and youths who are putting in a lot of effort to run small businesses for the benefit of their families and the community. With this electricity, our women will be able to process farm produce easily for sale and consumption. Our children will now be able to read at night using electricity instead of generator with harmful smoke, candles or kerosene lamps.

"I strongly believe that with reliable electricity, our small business will grow and new businesses will spring up. Also, we'll have electricity in our Healthcare centre which will improve patient care. On behalf of my people, I thank the federal government, the REA and the developers for the successful completion of the project".

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