Experts say Nigeria Electrification Project critical to economic development



Some power experts on Thursday said the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) was critical to the well-being of Nigerians and the economic development of the country.

The experts, who spoke at the Solar Future Nigeria Exhibition in Lagos, include Mr Segun Adaju, President, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) and Mrs Vera Nwanze, General Manager, Azuri Technologies.

Others are Mr Chukwuka Isichei, Business Development Manager, METKA Power West Africa and Mr Alistair Gordon, Chief Executive Officer, Lumos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the NEP, which is funded by the World Bank, is a nationwide initiative aimed at delivering energy access to unserved and underserved communities in Nigeria.

The project supports the Federal Government of Nigeria’s goal to increase electricity access across the country as defined in the national development agenda.

It is expected to provide electricity to households, small-to-medium-sized enterprises, and public institutions in a least-cost and timely manner through off- and mini-grid solutions.

Gordon said the NEP, managed by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), had made tremendous impact in deepening solar penetration in the country.

He said Lumos, in partnership with MTN, has been able to reach over 100,000 Nigerians, providing them with affordable and clean energy to power their homes and businesses.

According to him, with the grant being offered by the World Bank, Lumos is determined to expand its operations in the country within the next few years.

Nwanze, on her part, said Azuri Technologies had been able to bring electricity to many Nigerians in rural communities with their solar-powered appliances such as television, radio and fan.

Nwanze said that had enabled them to reduce their spending on generators, increase their access to information and a healthier lifestyle due to low carbon emission.

She said more Nigerians need to embrace solar power and appealed to the government to consider waivers for solar equipment imported into the country to make them affordable.

In his contribution, Isichei said METKA had been providing off-grid mini systems to universities in Nigeria, including Uthman Dan Fodio University, Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Kano University of Science and Technology.

“This has made tremendous impact on the lives of the students and it is a model going forward because we are seeing more mini-grids coming up,” he said.

Ajadu, who chaired the panel of discussants session, said REAN’s goal was to ensure acceptability of renewable energy in Nigeria and help to influence policies geared toward that objective.

Edited & Vetted By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Oluwole Sogunle

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