The Federal Government through its Rural Electrification Agency on Saturday announced the provision of electricity to the Olooji community, Ijebu East, Ogun State, for the first time since the community came into existence 200 years ago.
It said residents of the community experienced power supply for the first time on Friday with the official inauguration of a 100KWP solar-powered off-grid electricity system by the REA.
The REA in a statement issued in Abuja by its spokesman, Mouktar Ebraheem, said the remote community had about 4,500 residents.
It stated that local leaders in the community said there had never been power supply in the area, as residents had never used basic home appliances because of the absence of electricity since the community was first discovered.
The solar hybrid system was built by the federal government through the Rural Electrification Agency which is saddled with the responsibility of powering unserved and underserved communities across the country.
The Managing Director, REA, Ahmad Salihijo, said the goal of the government was to deploy the solutions to improve electricity access in communities to aid socio-economic development.
He was quoted as saying, “I am delighted that the people of Ijebu will henceforth enjoy clean, safe and reliable energy as deployed under the first set of grants through the Federal Government’s Rural Electrification Fund.
“REF is an initiative of the Federal Government, implemented by the REA to promote off-grid electrification and ensure that electricity is equitably distributed across the country. Therefore, interventions such as these are being delivered across all zones.”
The REA boss explained that the first set of grants under the REF would see the deployment of over 19,000 Solar Home Systems.
He said, “To deliver on our mandate, interventions such as this are designed to deliver the energy needs of Nigerians and enhance the socio-economic status of beneficiary communities.
“This will ultimately boost productivity and provide jobs in the community. With the delivery of this solar hybrid mini-grid, we are positive that entrepreneurial skills and resourcefulness of the people of ljebu will be improved through the productive use of this infrastructure.”
The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Oladotun Taiwo, emphasised the need to leverage novel technologies to aid the availability of reliable and sustainable electricity in Nigeria.
He commended the REA and stated that the project showed a lot about fairness, as remote communities now feel the impact of the Federal Government.