Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has launched the second phase of the 5-million Solar Home System (SHS) tagged, ‘Solar Power Naija’, to provide energy to 100,000 homes across the federation.
Speaking in the Jangefe community in Kazaure Emirate of Jigawa state during the programme launch on Saturday, Osinbajo said as the cost of installing and maintaining solar devices becomes cheaper, Nigeria has the opportunity to provide power for its citizens.
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He said, “This programme marks a milestone to focus effort for Nigerians to have access to electricity. We cannot continue to hold on to the national power grid and to achieve the decentralisation of power, an alternative source like renewable energy with cheaper facilities will help us achieve the dream of electrifying Nigeria and the time is now.”
Osinbajo, while stating that 25 million households would benefit from the programme in the entire phases, said it is aimed to ensure that the country will stop reliance on the national grid and help to serve communities that are not served or underserved.
The programme which is part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), is implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and would create over 250,000 jobs, as part of reversing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“President Muhammadu Buhari approved the powering of five million homes to create jobs for those that will install, maintain as well as those in the payment solar home system.”
He added that the programme is an ambitious initiative funded by a N140 billion financing program to support private developers to provide cheap and environmentally friendly power.
The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, at the event said the project would generate N7 billion in tax for the federal government per annum.
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Chiedu Ugbo, whose agency is collaborating with REA for the implementation, said in this second phase, 100,000 homes would be reached with the SHS and they would pay N3,500 monthly rent before taking ownership of the power system after five years.
The launching had in attendance the Governors of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru and his Kano counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje.