The epileptic power supply in Nigeria will soon be over as the World Bank deploys off-grid power projects in Nigeria.
The World Bank is to support the Federal Government in its effort to improve power supply in Nigeria through the provision of off-grid power projects using renewable energy, the first of which was commissioned last week in Rokota, Niger State.
The World Bank is working with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to identify communities in dire need of electricity and put an end to their yearning for constant electricity supply in a project known as Nigeria Electrification Project.
Rokota has a distribution network of 10km across the community, the mini-grid is expected to supply constant electricity to 326 households, which will propel economic growth and improve small and medium scale business activities within the community
The Nigeria Electrification Project will be providing grants, detailed market data and technical assistance to catalyze off-grid development in Nigeria, in collaboration with the World Bank ($350m) and African Development Bank ($200m). The project’s components are solar hybrid mini grids, Solar Home Systems (SHS) and the Energizing Education Programme (EEP).
The World Bank is providing $350 million with the African Development Bank contributing $200 million to the project,
In his speech, Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba, said, “I am honoured to be a part of this momentous achievement of the Rural Electrification Agency and the World Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Power and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The commissioning of the 157KW capacity solar hybrid mini-grid power plant will provide economic growth and stability to the people of Rokota.
The minister also said that the government would do all in its powers to ensure supply of electricity to unserved and underserved communities.
In his goodwill message, World Bank’s Country Director in Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said, “I am thrilled to be here with you all as we witness the commissioning of the first solar hybrid mini-grid project under the Performance-Based Grant component of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP). This is a huge milestone that will set the pace for more impactful electrification projects under the World Bank-funded programme.”
He explained that the Bretton Woods institution was committed to reducing the consumption and use of fossil fuels in energy production through renewable energy investment, hence the approval of $350 million for off-grid electrification projects in Nigeria.
Earlier, Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, represented by Commissioner for Works and lnfrastructural Development Engr. Ibrahim Panti, expressed his gratitude to the Federal Government and the World Bank for the laudable project in their community.
Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Electrification Agency, said that the off-grid sector had great investment opportunities, which is the reason “most of REA’s projects are private sector-focused.”
She stated further, “This is why we partnered PowerGen on this project here in Rokota, to deliver this 157KW solar mini-grid project that will power over 326 households and transform the lives of countless more.
The World Bank’s Task Team Leader, Jon Exel, explained that mini-grids are progressively emerging as a major cost-effective and reliable approach to electrifying unserved and underserved communities across Africa, with huge potential in achieving the bank’s energy goals of universal energy access.
With about 30 jobs created during the construction phase and many more jobs to be created with businesses growing from the stable electricity, Exel pointed out that the project firmly supports small scale job creation initiatives and, as a result, improve the quality of life of over 1000 people here in Rokota community and beyond.