The federal government has highlighted some of the secondary benefits of the N140 billion solar power programme that is aimed at providing electricity to 25 million Nigerians through off-grid connections to five million homes.
The Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman, who joined the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the launch of the programme in Jigawa State, recently, said the programme when fully implemented will generate additional N7 billion in tax revenue per annum and $10 million in annual import substitutions.
Mamman, who was quoted in a statement signed by the Head of Communication and Public Relations, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mrs. Olufunke Nwankwo, said the ministry would supervise the programme and would ensure the expansion of off-grid connections across the country.
Speaking earlier, Ugbo said the company had already provided 20,000 units of solar home systems to households across the country.
“Those 20,000 are working as we speak and then the government asked us to do another five million solar connections, that will include solar home systems and mini-grid, off-grid solutions”, he said.
The NDPHC boss also explained that the 100,000 solar home systems launch was the second phase of NDPHC’s ‘beyond the grid’ project.
The Vice President, who launched the programme with the 100,000 Solar Home System in Jangefe, Roni Local Government Area of Jigawa State, said the programme which is part of the Economic Sustainability Plan, would not only provide electricity to Nigerians not connected to the national grid but would also create jobs for many Nigerians.
He said the jobs will come from the areas of manufacturing, assembling, installation and maintenance of the solar systems, among others.
He said one of the challenges that became an opportunity for the government was the COVID-19 and that government’s response to that was the Economic Sustainability Plan.
“The President’s vision around that plan was that rather than have situations where people lose jobs and opportunities; we could take the opportunities of COVID-19 to create more jobs. We could take the opportunities of the economic fallout to create more opportunities for the Nigerian people.
“So the president approved that we should do these five million solar home connections across the country which would mean that 25 million Nigerians would have power.
“But not just that, there will be jobs around those who will manufacture, those who will assemble the solar systems, those who will install them will have jobs, those who will maintain them will have jobs and those who will also supply the payment systems and maintain the payment systems will also have jobs”, Osinbajo said.
He said the federal government was determined to bring power to un-served communities as part of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan.
Noting that the solar project which would be financed by a N140 billion fund would be paid for by the beneficiaries, the vice president explained that the fund will support private developers to provide power to the households.