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FG spends N45.89bn on rural power projects

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By Abiodun Okunloye

The initiatives boost the country's power grid capacity, adding new mini-grids.

According to the 2022 Strategic Interventions report by the Rural Electrification Agency in Abuja, it was revealed that the Nigeria Government constructed 1375 rural power projects in several towns and villages nationwide with the amount of N45.89bn within three years. In line with the agency’s statistics, the government took up the initiatives from 2020 to 2022 by boosting the efficiency of the country’s power grid, building up the number of mini-grids, distributing solar household systems, and erecting street lights powered by Solar Energy.

During the year under review, the government completed projects with a generation capacity of 238.4 MW. Based on the existing capacity of the grid, it was estimated that 2.38 million people were positively impacted at the cost of N19.11 bn, with 476,800 families directly benefiting from this. According to the report, N6.35bn was spent on developing 67 mini-grids that served 657.14 households, totaling 3,290 individuals, with 0.64MW of power during the period.

Solar power was also provided to many households.

At the expense of N1.03bn, the rural power agency installed Solar Panels on 556 homes, bringing Electricity to 2,780 people. It was also discovered that during this time, the agency installed solar street lights along 557.5km of the roadway at the cost of N17.96bn. The agency’s planned interventions for 2022 regarding the delivery of capital projects were also revealed. These interventions included a baseline evaluation and an ideal process for the electrification programs for the year 2022.

Furthermore, as part of the initiatives, solar mini-grids for high Productivity utilization, solar water pumps for irrigation mechanisms, and residential solar systems with low productivity usage were installed throughout Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. Prior to the implementation of the intervention strategies, several of the beneficiaries faced challenges and conditions such as limited access to utilities such as electricity and water, high rates of gasoline consumption, inadequate opportunities for women, insufficient protection, and significant crop production.

An evaluation was carried out to ascertain the impact of the intervention.

Following the interventions, a process of evaluation was carried out to ascertain the social, ecological, and economic benefits of the living standards of the beneficiary communities, according to the report. It was said there were six neighborhoods that had been furnished with a solar mini-grid Infrastructure of 100 kW by the year 2022. The strategies were created to place a higher priority on productive users, such as firms that process agricultural products, households, commercial users, and public areas.

About 8,155 people have benefited, in addition to 5,000 productive farmers, as a result of the continuous supply of power and hygienic, inexpensive water. This has translated into the creation of over 60 job opportunities, an improvement in safety and productivity, an enhancement in health care, and the discontinuation of over 40 generators powered by diesel and petrol. The agency noted that the trends towards lower carbon Emissions both in the present and in the future were promising.

Gender inclusion was balanced in the initiative execution.

Moreover, a total of 1,300 male and 92 female recipients, as well as around 200 farm groups, received solar irrigation pumps through distribution among the six geopolitical zones. There has been a direct impact on almost 11,000 people’s lives as well as 6,000 farmers, of which around 810 are female farmers. As a result of this influence, over 170 farms now have solar street lights, over 3,000 farmers have received training on pump management and new irrigation procedures, and most crucially, financial savings have been realized, according to the report.


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