THE Rural Electrification Agency with funding support from the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme has kicked off a five-year rural electrification project.
Tagged, ‘Derisking Sustainable Off-grid Lighting Solution in Nigeria’, direct beneficiaries of the $2.9 million project are estimated at 96,380 persons out of which 47,540 are expected to be women.
At the official launch of the project on Thursday in Abuja were the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Rural Electrification Agency, Ahmed Salihijo Ahmed; Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund, Dr. Sanusi Ohiare; representative of the UNDP, Mohamad Yahya, as well as the Project Manager, ‘Derisking Sustainable Off-grid Lighting Solution in Nigeria’, Dr. Bala Tyoden.
The partners disclosed that the project was financed by GEF with $2.6 million and supported by UNDP with $300,000.
In his address of welcome, Ahmad expressed the need for effective collaborations in achieving rural electrification project.
While commending the financial support from GEF and UNDP, he reiterated the imperative of rural electrification to national development and beckoned on the private sector for investment collaborations in renewable energy in the country.
The Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund, Dr. Sanusi Ohiare, also elaborated on the objectives of the programme as well as its immense positive impacts on the socio-economic development of rural dwellers, and tasked the technical working groups to ensure the project succeeds.
The representative of UNDP, Yahya, was optimistic the project would succeed considering the commitment of the partners and the zeal to achieve the desired result.
According to the Project manager, Dr. Bala Tyoden, it was designed to develop a private sector-led technology value-chain to make off-grid renewable energy technologies such as solar lanterns and solar home systems available to rural households that might not be electrified until after 2025.
He said, “The main aim of the project is to promote private sector investment in sustainable off-grid lighting technologies by establishing a sound policy environment that facilitates the creation of a self-functioning and sustainable market in Nigeria.”
According to him, the project would directly support the implementation of the Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan (2016) as well as the energy access targets in the SE4All Investment Prospectus.