Friday, June 20, 2014 3:13 pm
Abuja- Nigeria’s government says it has concluded plans to use renewable energy to fast track its rural electrification projects across the country, using wind, solar, bio-mass and hydro-energy to complement the existing source of power supply.
The Minister of State for Power, Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, said this at a meeting with members of the Board of the Rural Electrification Agency in his office in Abuja.
He said the renewed drive on rural electrification was a fall-out of the completion of the power sector privatisation.
He said the completion had made it imperative to focus on rural areas where close to 70 per cent of Nigerians reside.
“Now that privatisation is completed and we are addressing the teething problems associated with past-privatisation, the administration is determined to focus on rural areas where we have close to 70 per cent of our people.
“As most of these areas are not connected to the national grid, renewable energy provides an alternative and this is what we have started doing,’’ he said.
The minister said the Federal Government was also committed to repositioning the agency to ensure that power also get to the grassroots in line with the transformation agenda.
The minister described renewable energy as worldwide trend in energy provision.
He stressed the need for Nigeria to key into it because of its sustainability and environmental friendliness.
The agency’s Board Chairman, Mr Jonathan Zwingina, commended the Federal Government for strengthening the agency to meet the challenges of rural electrification in the country.
Zwingina said the agency would continue to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that power was brought to the rural areas in line with the Federal Government’s vision.
“We promise to stand by the direction and goals of Mr President as listed out by the minister.
“We share the vision of powering our rural areas through a mixture of conventional and renewable energy.
“We will re-rededicate ourselves to the realisation of this laudable agenda,’’ he said.