By Wasilat Azeez

The federal government has signed a €9.3 million agreement with eight indigenous companies to provide23 solar mini-grids across 11 states.

The states include Zamfara, Niger, Plateau, Kwara, Kogi, Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Delta, Anambra, and Cross River.

The project, under the interconnected mini-grid acceleration scheme (IMAS), is expected to generate a 5.4-kilowatt peak to connect about 27,600 households and impact over 138,000 Nigerians in two years.

Speaking at the grant award signing ceremony on Thursday in Abuja, Goddy Jedy-Agba, minister of state for power, said the project is coordinated by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) with support from the European Union and the German government through the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP).

He said the development is geared towards achieving the country’s vision of generating at least 30,000 megawatts of electricity by 2030.

Jedy-Agba also commended the management of REA for their efforts and actions towards ensuring power reaches the off-grid communities in the country.

He maintained that “according to the developed National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy, the vision 30:30:30 aims at achieving 30,000 Mega Watts of electricity by the year 2030, with renewable energy contributing 30 per cent of the energy mix. To achieve this, Nigeria will have to construct over a thousand mini-grids of 100 Kilowatts”.

While admitting that the government cannot achieve the target alone, he called for collaboration with development partners and the private sector.

“We understand that one of the major bottlenecks for the private sector’s involvement is financing, hence, the reason the NESP and REA have worked closely to develop and implement the Interconnected Mini-grid Acceleration Scheme,” he added.

According to the minister, the eight local solar mini-grid developers are Acob Lighting Technology Limited, Gve Projects, Nayo Tropical Technology Limited, Rubitec Nigeria Limited, Darway Coast Nigeria Limited.

Others include Havenhill Synergy Limited, Sosa-Protergia Joint Development Company Limited, and A4&T Power Solutions Limited.

He said the companies would receive in-kind grants through REA with support of the EU and the German government within the framework of the NESP.

On his part, Ahmad Salihijo, managing director of REA, said the scheme is aimed at bridging the funding gap which is affecting indigenous developers in the renewable energy sector.

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