By Chris Ochayi
The Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Sani Bello has called on the residents of Goton Sarki community, Paikoro Local Government Area of the state to take advantage of the 24 hours electricity supply from the 40kWp Solar Mini-Grid to improve their standard of living and advance their economy
The Solar Mimi-Grid was provided by the Rural Electrification Agency, REA,.whose Managing Director, Dr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, disclosed with the community getting 24 hours power supply daily, the people have more hours of electricity than Abuja residents.
Governor Bello, who was represented by his Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Mohammed Ibrahim Panti, at the commissioning ceremony in the village, said “You have heard it from the MD of REA that you have more electricity supply hour than Abuja,
”I urge you to take advantage of it to improve your standard of living. ”
The Governor said the benefits of clean and constant electricity will increase the income of the people of Goton Sarki through improved business activities as well as their productivity.
According to him, it will give the children good education. He tasked the residents on the protection of the solar project, which he said, the community has already donated a security outpost for its protection.
Bello promised the stakeholders at the event “I want to assure you that the people of Niger State, will do our best to support this project to ensure greater success and sustainability. Its impact is already changing lives.”
The REA implemented the project through A.Y. Global Integrated Consult Limited under a Public Private Partnership, PPP, understanding.
Speaking, Ahmad said he had already learnt that more barbing salons were springing in the community.
He expressed joy that Goton Sarki community automatically now becomes one of the beneficiary communities that will witness socioeconomic transformation due to the availability of reliable and sustainable energy.
The Rural Electrification Fund (REF), he said, is designed to aid more equitable access to electricity across regions, while maximizing the economic, social and environmental benefits of rural electrification subsidies.
He said “Through REF projects, we have continued to promote expansion of the grid and development of off-grid electrification as mandated by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
This Solar Hybrid Mini-Grid in Goton Sarki is designed to serve this community while also stimulating productive use amongst community members.
“I encourage the great people of this community to explore and optimise the usage of this system to help develop this community even better.
“Providing and increasing energy access to millions of Nigerians through off-grid solutions is critical as the end goal is to ensure the equitable delivery of the social and economic benefits that will improve lives across the nation.”
The Managing Director, A.Y. Global Integrated Consult Limited, Engr. Yusuf Ganda explained that the project was commenced and delivered to the community in conformity to international best practice and standards.
The installed solar mini grid power plant, he said, “has a total capacity of 40kW Solar PV peak power which consists of 200 Mono crystalline solar panels, 60kva hybrid inverter, 60 deep cycle storage batteries, wireless IoT smart metering system the first of it kind in the country, and over 1.6KM radius of distribution network cables.
“The solar mini grid project now serves over 1500 people in this community with constant electricity and street light.”
He said the company could not have achieved the completion of the project without the support of the community leaders and people of Goton Sarki.
Ganda added that “We are glad to mention we utilised the community’s labour force thereby training and providing them with employment.
“It is gratifying that we not only supplied electricity, but have contributed to the economic advancement of Niger State and Nigeria.”
He urged the community to protect this facility that powers your community because, according to him, “it belongs to you all.” He informed them that the electricity is not free.