Akpabom Community in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have expressed delight over the newly inaugurated 100kw solar hybrid mini-grid power plant in the community.
The plant, which was inaugurated by the Rural Electrification Agency on Thursday, was built under the Rural Electrification Fund, according to a statement.
The Chairman, Onna Local Government Area, Mr Imoh Attat, commended the Federal Government for the completion of the project.
He said, “Before this power plant was installed, our people endured a lot of hardship due to lack of electricity. Our welders had to travel to other locations to weld, our women had to grind their cassava in neighbouring villages, and we couldn’t preserve our fish properly.
“When there is light, there is hope for all. With the coming of electricity, especially solar electricity, we know that many businesses will grow and the standard of living will improve. It is our hope that our children will now be able to succeed in school and at home, and that people will come to Akpabom to patronise our businesses, instead of us travelling to distant locations to earn a living.”
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, REA, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to meeting its developmental goals by providing electricity access for all.
Ogunbiyi, who was represented by the Executive Director, REF, Dr Sanusi Ohiare, said, “As an agency, we are responsible for powering unserved and underserved communities, therefore, it is fulfilling every time homes, businesses, schools and medical centres are connected to sustainable solar power.”
According to her, rural communities are being transformed with clean energy through the jobs that are created during construction, to their micro and small businesses scaling to larger capacity.
She said, “What we are witnessing today is a result of the hard work of Nigerians who are determined to see positive transformations in our power sector and in Nigeria. The Federal Government, under its Next Level agenda, is committed to providing access to clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity across the country. This includes rural areas which had lacked electricity access for many years.
“The Rural Electrification Fund is dedicated to ensuring the distribution of electricity equally to various communities using rural electrification grants. The first set of grants under REF are for 12 communities, and Akpabom community is the third to benefit from it.”