The federal government has stressed that the 25 million Nigerians to be electrified through the ongoing N240 million Solar Home System project have to pay some fair bills.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, according to a statement, made this clear at the recent launch of 100,000 Solar Home System in Jangefe community, Kazuare Emirate, Jigawa State.
Osinbajo, who commended the management of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Limited for playing leading role, describing it as catalyst in government’s plan to provide electricity to 25 million Nigerians through off-grid connections to 5 million homes, said the project which would be financed by a N140 billion fund would be paid for by the beneficiaries.
He said: “Another challenge which became an opportunity for us was the Covid-19 and our response to that which as many know was Economic Sustainability Plan.
“The President’s vision around that plan was that rather than have situations where people lose jobs and opportunities, we could take the opportunities of Covid-19 to create more job opportunities for the Nigerian people.
“So the President approved that we should do these five million solar home connections across the country which would mean that 25 million Nigerians would have power,” adding that by this development, those who would manufacture, assemble the solar systems, supply, install, and maintain them respectively would have jobs.
He said: “The power provided is not free but we have put in place structures to make sure that the connections are affordable to those connected.”
Explaining that the programme is a partnership with the private driving the connections, supported by concessionaire lending by the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks, he said the N140 billion finance programme is to support private developers to provide power to the households.
Also speaking at the launch, the Minister of Power, Engr Sale Mamman said the programme when fully implemented will generate additional N7 billion in tax revenue per annum and $10 million in annual import substitutions.
Engr. Mamman said the Ministry would supervise the programme to ensure the expansion of off-grid connections across the country.
On his part, Jigawa State governor, Badaru Abubakar, thanked President Buhari for choosing the state as the starting point of the programme, pledging the support of the state government in ensuring its success.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director/CEO, NDPHC, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo said the company had already provided 20,000 units of solar home systems to households across the country.
“Those 20,000 are working as we speak and then the government asked us to do another five million solar connections, including solar home systems and mini-grid, off-grid solutions,” he added.
He explained that the 100,000 solar home systems launch is the second phase of NDPHC’s beyond the grid project.
By Abah Adah