The Federal Government is making moves to install five million solar home systems in under-served and off-grid communities across the country in the coming week.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President; disclosed this on Monday.
About 25 million Nigerians are expected to benefit from the initiative. Estimated billings are projected to be between N1,500 and N4,000 per month.
According to Akande, the programme which will include the assembly and manufacturing of components of off-grid solutions to expedite the growth of the local manufacturing industry; is also geared towards the creation of about 250,000 jobs in manufacturing, assembling, installations, maintenance, and payment systems.
The initiative is commendable and a step in the right direction as it appears the Buhari Administration is finally waking up to its responsibility of addressing the age-long problem of insufficient power distribution and unemployment in the country. And we do hope it does not end here; more needs to be done because Nigeria is long overdue for alternative means of power supply.
A population of over 120 million is way too large to be depending on energy generated from Shiroro and Kainji Dams. It is not surprising that Nigeria has not been able to, over the years; provide sufficient power supply to serve its growing citizenry. Perhaps, the FG is just waking to this reality.
As a result, many people have gone an extra mile to provide alternative power sources for themselves such as – inverters, solar panels, etc. to augment for the power shortage across the nation. To address the problem of insufficient distribution of power to Nigerian households, the government will have to rely on more than one energy source as well as extend the initiative to all Nigerians.
Fortunately, Nigeria has abundant natural resources such as sunshine and wind with which the country can generate cost-effective power supply that will serve Nigerian households satisfactorily. Besides, these are eco-friendly energy sources and that is an advantage for us. It is high time we put our natural resources to good use rather than allowing them to waste away.
Also, the over-centralisation of things in the country has to stop! States and even local governments should be allowed to generate their own power to make up for FG’s inadequacies.
If we were not so dependent on just one source of power generation; it is doubtful that we would be talking about a nationwide blackout today following the collapse of the national grid. This in itself is very pathetic and ought not to be a subject of discussion in the 21st century.
It calls for power sector reforms and a paradigm shift. The time to explore other sources of power generation and decentralise the power generation system is now; to improve Nigeria’s power generation capacity and its availability to the citizens in a reliable system.