BY ADEWALE SANYAOLU
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, yesterday said the Federal Government’s special intervention programme, “Light up Rural Nigeria Project”, achieved one year of uninterrupted power supply in Durumi community in Bwari Arear Council of the Federal Capital Territory through its off-grid power infrastructure.
Nebo who stated this on Wednesday when he paid a working visit to the corporate headquarters of The Sun Publishing Limited in Lagos, said government was working to extend the project to other rural communities through its Rural Electrification project. He called the Nigerian private sector to leverage government’s success story to improve the power supply situation in th country.
He described the activities of pipeline vandals as a major obstacle to the realisation of government’s power target for Nigerians, adding that the development informed Federal Government’s decision to think out of the box.
Nebo said the celebration of one year of uninterrupted power supply in the Abuja rural community was made possible through the use of solar powered technology to provide light to residents as part of government’s effort to resolve the power challenges in the country.
President Goodluck Jonathan had in January 2014 flagged off the official commissioning of the solar power project in Durumi community, Bwari Area Council in Abuja, to light up over 1,000 homes in the area.
The Light Up Rural Nigeria is an initiative of the Ministry of Power for the post- privatisation period and specifically targeted at providing electricity for off-grid rural communities.
Nebo listed other government’s strategies to light up Nigeria to include the national renewable energy policy, energy efficiency policy and the rural electrification project, which he said would enable the private sector move in a more predictable manner into the off-grid renewable energy sub-sector to complement government’s efforts of universal access to electricity.
While lauding The Sun for its special reports on failed infrastructure across the country, he equally called on its management to help publicise the evils inherent in pipeline vandalism, which, according to him, was aimed at frustrating government’s efforts at realising steady power supply.
“Each time we achieve 4,500 mega watts, the vandals would strike. But whenever we achieve less, they don’t strike. And this to us is a major act of sabotage. It is wicked and a major setback to our achievement. So we plead with you to help us project these ills,” he said.
Nebo said the initiative “has been conceived by the administration primarily to promote the use of renewable energy thereby assisting in its vision of providing reliable electricity to all Nigerians regardless of where they live or work. It is also designed to assist in achieving energy security through abundant energy mix of wind, solar and biomass.”
Responding, Managing Director of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Femi Adesina, assured the Minister of the company’s support in publicising the ministry’s activities, while also urging him to take advantage of the wide circulation of the newspaper to inform Nigerians about its activities.
Source : SunOnline