Youths in Tasha Hajia community in Niger state have expressed their readiness to cooperate with the federal government to get electricity.
Some of them who spoke on Wednesday at a sensitisation session held by the Rural Electricity Agency (REA) in the community said although Tasha Hajia is about 15 kilometres from Makera, the nearest electricity supply point, they still have no power source.
The Community Secretary and member of the Youth Executive Committee, Usman Aliyu Dabban said: “We entirely rely on generators here but we have over 2,000 households. So if the solar project will give us uninterrupted power at affordable rate, the youth are ready to mobilise support.”
He however called for the engagement of youth in executing part of the project so they can have real sense of ownership especially in providing security for the mini grid plant. The Youth Leader, Zakari Kubegi said businesses in the largely yam, and grain marketing community include heavy milling machines, saloons, welders, coldrooms and traders, but that the cost of diesel was adding to prices of services by the businesses.
“If you see any sign of electricity, it means someone has bought generator. If the solar grid can power our businesses then cost of living will reduce. My members are ready to support this,” Kubegi in his late twenties said as he filled the consent form.
Emmanuel Audu, aged 32 shared similar view but added that the project must be sustainable and not abandoned like past promises they have received in the area. He said, “We want this to materialise so the youth can be empowered especially in the maintenance aspect. They should not delay this initiative.”
Earlier the State Coordinator and Team Lead for the REA sensitisation campaign, Mallam Ahmed Abubakar advised residents under the Tasha Hajia Community Electrification Committee to submit expression of interest so REA and the World Bank could engage developers for the project.