By Emmanuel Addeh
The federal government Friday formally inaugurated a 300KVA transformer and a 30kw off-grid solar-powered facility in Katsina, which it said would help electrify schools, hospitals and businesses across the benefitting communities.
The event, which took place in Unguwar Dutse, Malumfashi Local Government Area and Bambami village, Batagarawa Local Government Area of the state, the government noted, will also boost economic activities across the two councils.
The Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Salihijo Ahmad, under whose purview the government is overseeing the programme, said the agency is tackling the nation’s power challenge one community at a time.
He expressed joy that the Anguwar Dutse community would utilise access to electricity for socio-economic growth in the project that was executed through a public and private partnerships with IBK Services Limited.
“This is the time for men, women, and youths to display the well known Nigerian spirit of innovativeness and creativity as you take full advantage of the access to stable power development,” he said.
The REA boss said the agency designed the off-grid intervention to automatically enhance the socio-economic status of the villages, boost productivity and provide jobs in the communities.
Ahmad urged the people to leverage the reliable nature of the solar hybrid mini-grid to improve their well-being and reiterated the determination of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to transform the power sector in the country.
He said: “I strongly believe that the quality of lives will be improved and children will have better learning experiences as they will be able to read at night. This project will enliven this community and expose it to invest in the nearest future.”
In his remarks, the Governor of Katsina State, Mr Aminu Masari, urged residents to take advantage of the installed and commissioned projects to boost their economic activities.
Represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Power, Mr. Mansur Musa, Masari said the project would be used to power schools, hospitals and businesses across the community.
He told the residents that the commissioning of the grid extension project under the capital projects of the REA would provide reliable electricity to the town, which he said would in turn lead to more productivity.
“This project will not just provide electricity to homes but will also be utilised to power schools, hospitals and businesses across the community,” he assured.
Masari enjoined the residents to protect the transformer from being vandalised and work with stakeholders in the industry to ensure the sustainability of the project.
He commended the agency for the project, noting that power deficit had been an albatross for too long in the communities.
While commissioning the 30kw mini-grid in Bambami village, Masari said it was in collaboration with the federal government through the REA that would ensure clean, safe and reliable electricity for the community.
“The benefits of clean and constant nature of solar will increase the income of the people in this community through improved business activities as well as improve productive life of the people while ensuring a good education for school children,” he said.
The Head of Unguwar Dutsen, Mr Gambo Wada, described the commissioning as a major development, noting that business opportunities in farming, processing, storage and external trades would become a reality for the people in the area.
“I must appreciate the people of Unguwar Dutse and the state government for this project. It is my prayer that it will help increase our commerce and trade, especially as our local economy is dependent on trade,” he said.