Nigeria’s VP Osinbajo Launches Solar Power Programme

The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, has launched solar power connections in Jigawa State as part of the promise of the Federal Government to deliver electricity to about 25 million Nigerian off grid communities.

The event is in pursuit of the Economic Sustainability Plan by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The ESP is chaired by the Vice-President Osinbajo, who restated the determination of President Buhari’s administration to ensure that millions have access to cheap and environmentally friendly renewable power.

According to Osinbajo, the launch of the Solar Power Naija programme is taking off with the Jangefe Community in Roni Local Government Area (in the Kazaure Emirate) of the State and will get to all geopolitical zones in the country soon.

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After Jangefe, the rollout will continue across the 6 geopolitical zones in Edo, Lagos, Adamawa, Anambra, Kebbi and Plateau. Other solar companies are also in the pipeline for the Solar Power Naija facility to continue the march to 5 million connections during the current administration.

Jangefe in the Kazaure Emirate of Jigawa will be the first location covered by the A-Solar company and will have 1,000 Solar Home Systems installed across the community (covering about 5,000 citizens).

The scheme will then go on to the entire 36 States and the FCT covering 25 million Nigerians eventually.

The President had emphasized that Nigeria could no longer rely solely on the grid if it was to electrify the whole country. This led to the development of an effective strategy for decentralizing the power supply.

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A challenge turned opportunity was Covid-19 and Nigeria’s response to the economic fall outs of the pandemic – the Economic Sustainability Plan. A fundamental rationale for the plan was to retain existing jobs and create new jobs. A mass solar programme seemed like a real chance to kill several birds with one stone; electrify the country and in the process create thousands of jobs from solar assembly and manufacturing plants to installers, payment system operators, and maintenance of solar systems once installed.

The Solar Power Programme is a public-private sector partnership supported by concessionary lending via the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks.

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