The federal government on Tuesday, inaugurated a 60KVA solar mini-grid power plant in the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obanliku Local government area of Cross River State.
Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, OFR, who commissioned the project also performed a ground breaking ceremony for the construction/installation of another 100KVA solar mini-grid power plant at the Bottom Hill axis of the resort.
Speaking, the Minister said that the project was part of the federal government’s policy of providing rural and undeserved communities with clean, accessible and sustainable electricity.
He said that the plant which is to provide 24-hour electricity at the resort is a deliberate effort to support the state government efforts to revive the hitherto moribund tourists site.
According to him, “the commissioning of this 60kWp solar hybrid mini-grid power plant is coming at the right time to a community that will equally value it and make the best of it as this project has been deliberately designed to serve the needs of this community.
As always, the Ministry of Power continues to work to provide the needed support for the implementation of all Federal Government policies in the diversification of the energy sector. I am, therefore, thrilled that our drive has led us to this great event. It is glaring that the capital appropriation is being put into good use”.
He maintained that “it has also become obvious that renewable energy plays a critical role in accelerating energy access across the nation. The plan therefore is to continue to do all it takes to ensure that Nigeria’s massive renewable energy resources are efficiently utilized to energize communities, schools, hospitals and businesses across Nigeria”.
While charging the community to take charge of the projects, he commended the commitment of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in the commencement and completion of several off-grid projects through the several schemes in the country.
Also speaking, the Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade commended the Minister and President Muhammadu Buhari for the project saying that his administration and previous ones had tried unsuccessfully to improve electricity.
Ayade who was represented by the Commissioner for Power, Hon. Victor Agwu said that “a lot of people won’t understand our excitement. As a government, we’ve tried severally to bring light to the Ranch but to no avail. But here we’re celebrating this epoch making event. Bringing generator to this place is even a problem but we thank the Minister who has made this possible. We hope this will mark the beginning of many more projects that’ll come “.
Managing Director of REA, Ahmad Salihijo who was represented by the Executive Director of Rural Electrification Fund, Dr. Sanusi Ohiare said that the projects which are being deployed across the country ” are testaments of the Federal Government’s resolve to improve energy infrastructure across Nigeria, especially in unserved and underserved communities”.
He assured that “with our deliberate plan to continue our job of powering Nigeria, one community at a time as mandated by the Federal Government, more communities will be energized across the country under the different REA programmes in the coming months, just as we have commissioned several projects in the first quarter of 2021”.
Responding on behalf of the community, the Chairman of Obanliku Local Government, Evang. (Mrs.) Margaret Inde commended the Minister and the federal government for the project.
While assuring that the community will take proper care of the facility, She said that “we are very excited by this development. Today is not just commissioning but ground breaking for another solar project in our local government. We thank the Minister and President Muhammadu Buhari who consider our local government worthy to benefit from these great projects.
As Oliver Twist, we want to beg that the development should be extended to other parts of the local government. Like my village Bendi, we don’t have light. There’s no single electricity pole there. So, I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the Minister and the President to continue to consider Obanliku “.