No fewer than 450 shops in Iponri market of Lagos State were at the weekend linked to solar power under the Federal Government’s Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI).
Speaking at the end of the inspection tour of the project, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said the initiative has brought relief to the beneficiary shops’ owners as complaints of outrageous bills from the electricity distribution company would be a thing of the past.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on ease of doing business has materialized because this initiative has been able to reduce the cost of running their business as far as power is concerned.
“The administration has been able to initiate the policy of developing energy through mini grids which are renewable, one of which is the solar. This is an opportunity for the shop owners to decide on which power to use, whether from the national grid or off grid,” he also said
The EEI, which is targeted at easing the activities of Medium Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), has launched three pilot projects to electrify 50,000 shops in Sabon Gari Market in Kano, Ariaria market in Abia State and Sura shopping complex in Lagos.
The off grid power generation project is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), in partnership with Rensource Energy, a private developer of the project in the markets.
The chief executive officer, Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, said the agency is responsible for creating an enabling environment for private sector-led projects and that they have been able to do that with the solar electrification system which is a project under the EEI of the Federal Government.
The chief executive officer, Rensource Energy, Mr. Ademola Adesina, said the objective of the project is to show an additional model of power generation and distribution for important economic purpose in Nigeria which is targeting 700KW on completion.