Solar power for rural dwellers not so free

November 29, 2020
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The 25 million Nigerians that will benefit from the Federal Government’s Solar Home Systems that commences this week will be paying N4,000 monthly.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday titled “25m Nigerians to own 5m solar systems at N4,000 monthly.”

Most rural dwellers live on less than $2 daily.

Akande said government will from next week commence the process of installation in underserved and off-grid communities across the country.

The installation is in continuation of the implementation of the government’s Economic Sustainability Plan tagge Solar Power Naija, and it’s part of the effort of the Rural Electrification Agency.

“An important aspect of the scheme is the option of outright ownership by beneficiaries at a cost ranging from N1, 500 per week to N4, 000 monthly depending on the capacities, for a period of three years,” Akande said.

He added that as indicated in the Economic Sustainability Plan, the five million connections initiative is a private sector-led electricity access acceleration scheme to be facilitated by a low-cost loan facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria and implemented by REA.

“The programme will include the assembly or manufacturing of components of off-grid solutions to facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing industry.

“In view of the scale of materials required, solar equipment manufacturers/assemblers will be incentivised to set up facilities in Nigeria, thereby offering additional job opportunities to Nigerians.

“In addition, installation, servicing and payment collections are expected to provide thousands of other jobs. In all, at least 250, 000 jobs will be created.”

It was further learnt that the World Bank which is also participating in the plan, is providing a grant to finance 20 percent of the retail cost of the solar system across the country.

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