The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to continually intervene in the power sector.
Fashola gave the assurance on Saturday in Lagos during a visit to 700 kilowatts mini-grid electricity supply under Energising Economies Initiative (EEI) at Iponri Market.
He also said such interventions would include solar energy and renewable energy to ensure ease of doing business in the country. According to Fashola, the Micro, Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) operators are the engine of growth in any economy.
“They are one of the best in the economy I have seen. They are hardworking people and our ease of doing business targets them specifically.
“First, we understand that energy is an important component of their businesses. They pay between N2,000 to N5,000 just for supply of energy.
“Now the solution we have brought for them has reduced that cost,” Fashola said. He also said that the initiative was part of the Federal government’s resolve in ensuring an inclusive government.
Fashola said: “The president’s programme of ease of doing business has already hit the buzzer. It has reduced the cost of running and that is the ease of doing businesses. “The other thing is that we are now implementing also the policy that no government before us was committed to developing energy through mini grid.
“So, Iponri, for example is now being powered by solar, it is also renewable. For those who asked, where is renewable policy? Come and see it in Iponri. “It is in Sabon-geri and it is still also coming up in many other markets.
“You will have heard that from the shop owners that they now have the right and privilege to choose between the solar and the grid because they have both.
“There are traces of where the grids and generators were and you have heard from some of them saying that they have left their generators behind because they are too noisy and were too unhealthy because there are carbon emissions.
“Again, the president has entered this market to reach the ordinary people to say, I hear you, I feel your pains,” he said. Mr Ademola Adesina, Chief Executive Officer of Resource Energy, owners of the Iponri Market Energy Solution Ltd., said the company currently operates in six out of the 16 markets where the energising economies projects were.
Adesina said that the company planned to be in 12 markets out of the 300 major markets identified for the project. He also said that the company could bid for and build more mini-grids and extend its service beyond major markets to some industrial clusters in future. Also, the Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, said the mini-grid currently served 450 shops out of 1700 shops at Iponri.
Ogunbiyi said that the shops were in different tiers depending on their level of consumption on the solar hybrid power system which has 700kw capacity.
NAN reports that the EEI is a government initiative implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
The project aimed to support the rapid deployment of off-grid electricity solutions to Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMME’s) within economic clusters through private sector developers. The clusters include markets, shopping complexes and agricultural/industrial clusters. In November, 2018 government launched a 1.5 megawatts of off-grid power at Sura Shopping Complex.