Acting President Yemi Osinbajo stated that vowed to render operators of electricity generating sets in rural areas “jobless” by meeting the energy demands of rural communities through sustainable renewable energy solution. He made these assertions at the inauguration of Nigerian Renewable Energy Roundtable on Tuesday in Abuja.
He stressed his points by narrating how the provision of solar energy to Wuna village in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) rendered the only operator of an electricity generating sets jobless.
“I was in Wuna to see it for myself. For the first time in their existence, the village now has running water, solar powered. The school has power and the school hall is now used as a community hall in the evenings. Each home has four points of light.
“Children can now stay up and do some studying at night. Many of Wuna’s women can now process their millet and yams at night. New jobs have been created, solar installers, maintenance, payment systems and so on.
“One guy has lost his business in Wuna, the phone charger. Every household can now charge their phones. But he now charges phones of residents of other villages,’’ he said.
The acting president revealed that 20,000 more homes would be provided with solar electricity system in the first phase of the sustainable renewal energy solution project of the government.Osinbajo stated that the plan was to expand the Solar Home System programme to one million households, and thereby “creating a few more million jobs. He disclosed that the government was also championing the use of mobile money for solar home system payments to provide access to lighting and electric power for small devices.
The Chairperson, House Committee on Science and Technology, Rep. Beni Lar, disclosed that the National Assembly chipped in on the conversation and said that her team was working on a bill to amend the Energy Commission Act of Nigeria to ensure more powers for the commission.
According to her, the bill also seeks to ensure that community trust funds are set up and the funds will be managed by the energy commission.
She said the commission would partner with communities that needed help in the execution of solar-based projects in their areas while Prof. Ajayi Boroface, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology noted that the global effort in mitigating climate change would favor the demand for renewal energy and the abundance of the resources globally.
Nigeria is currently not considered as one of the pro-active countries when it comes to renewable energy, as countries in North and East Africa continue to dominate renewable energy market on the African scene.