Bank of Industry ((BoI) has commissioned a N44 million micro-grid solar system in Bisanti, a remote community in Niger State as part of strategic moves to promote small scale enterprises in the country. The 24KW micro-grid solar electrification system, which is billed to be replicated in six communities in a pilot phase across the country, is part of the bank’s Solar Energy Partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Already, other off-grid communities slated by the development finance institution to benefit from the rural eletricfication programme include: Idi-Ita/Onibambu, Ile-Ife LGA, in Osun State, Ogbekpen, Ikpoba in Okha LGA, Edo State, Kolwa Kaltunga LGA, in Gombe State, Onono, Anambra West LGA, in Anambra State and Carwa/Cakum, Markarfi LGA, in Kano State.
GVE Projects Limited, the project developer, implemented a 6KW PV solar rural micro-grid at Egbeke, Rivers State in 2013 and is said to be currently implementing a 18KW solar micro-grid solution in the same location. Speaking during the commissioning of the project, BoI Managing Director, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, on Wednesday, stated that the project would not only help to drive entrepreneurship and boost economic activities in the community, it would also help to improve the quality of lives of the people.
He also said that by eliminating the use of kerosene lanterns, oil lamps and other dangerous and unhealthy sources of power generation, the lives of the community members would be preserved while also protecting the environment. Olaoluwa, who noted that the current electricity situation in the country could not adequately support the growth of MSMEs in the country, stated that the time had come to deploy the abundant renewable energy sources that abound in the country for the nation’s economic development.
On the significance of the project to the community, the BoI boss added,”Each home will have sufficient solar electricity to power three(3) LED light bulbs, 1 electric fan, 1 radio/Tav set and of course, mobile phone charging. “These are the basic energy needs of an average rural family. What we have initiated is a commercially sound model for delivering power to Nigerian rural homes at affordable rates, to provide a long-term alternative to the problematic national grid.