By Salim Yunusa

President Muhammed Buhari has commissioned a 1.52 megawatt peak (MWp) solar power mini grid at the Ministry of Works and Housing and the Ministry of Environment in Abuja.

President Buhari, at the commissioning on Tuesday, said the project reiterated his administration’s commitment in pursuing renewable energy in solving the energy crises in the country.

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, Buhari noted that the reliance of on-grid power energy over the years has done little to bring power to rural areas in the country.

He however said the focus on off-grid power supply has led to the access of small-scale off-grid electricity, increasingly available to Nigerians in market places, universities and business premises.

“This 1.5MW solar farm, which is the largest solar project for a public building in Africa will enable us to reduce carbon emissions and we are proud that we are contributing to saving the climate for future generations.”

He stressed that improved service delivery in the public sector will translate into the ease of doing business “which is a major objective of our economic plans to grow the Nigerian economy and create jobs.

“There is the procurement of up to 150MW solar power along the Maiduguri axis to help address the issue of electricity supply along the axis while enhancing grid stability through the provision of green renewable energy.”

The Minister for Works and Housing, Babtunde Raji Fashola, said the solar power system would reduce the consumption of 764,248 litres of diesel per annum to 166,825 litres and help save N270 million in government coffers for 20 years.

He added that the project saw the employment of 382 artisans and 176 skilled workers throughout its duration, in fulfilment of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of creating jobs.

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