Electricity workers at work

REA electrify 700 households, businesses in Niger community

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By Constance Athekame

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) said it had provided power supply to over 700 households and businesses in Danchitagi community in Niger to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.

Mr Ahmad Salihijo, Managing Director of the agency said this while inspecting the project on Saturday in Danchitagi

He said that the 200 Kilo Watts peak (KWp) was deployed under the Performance Based Grant programme of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).

Salihijo said that the project was part of the programme of the Solar Hybrid Mini Grid component of the NEP under World Bank.

He said that the project was a clear demonstration of how government and the private sector can work closely to bring relief to the people as most of them relied on generators to carry out their daily activities.

According to him, while government provided the grant, PowerGen brought in their technical expertise to develop the mini grid.

“The visit to the site and from the feed backs we are getting, most people in this community rely on generators.

“With this mini grid, the people in the community will buy less fuel and what this means is that with the subsidy removal, this will serve as a palliative to help them cushion the effect of the removal.

“The kind of impact seen here is clear that there is productive use of the power system as we have seen a rice mill, a barber  shop and a cold room and other households connected to the grid, ”he said.

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Salihijo said that what REA needed to do with PowerGen was to see how to expand the system to serve more users.

“We are working hard to ensure expansion of the project, based on power supply brought into the community a lot of people are moving in.

“But one good thing is that as long as it remains profitable, the company will continue to provide their expertise to ensure supply to the community,” he said.

Salihijo said that REA had a monitoring and evaluation team that goes round quarterly to ensure effective usage of projects.

He said that the potential of the project was massive and was of great benefit to the community.

Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) commended the Federal Government for providing them power supply.

Mr Jibrin Giwa said that the project brought relief to them as they no longer need generators to do their businesses.

Giwa said that the community has been enjoying power for over six months and they were grateful to the Federal Government.

On his part, Mr Mahmud Mohammed, a fashion designer said that using the power provided by the mini grid was better and cheaper than using generators. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

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