In a bid to provide sustainable energy to some riverine communities in Ondo State, oil giants, NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Ltd. Joint Venture, CNL, in partnership with Ilaje Rural Development Committee, IRDC, and Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, PIND, have inaugurated a solar power electricity project.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the communities are Awoye and Odofado, in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state.
It stated that the solar power mini grid energy cabins, which would benefit no fewer than 200 residents in the communities, was initiated by the IRDC and funded by NNPC/Chevron.
Through the energy cabin projects, Awoye and Odofado are having access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for the first time, thus fulfilling Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG.
While commissioning the project on Friday, the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said that rural electrification is in line with his administration’s agenda.
According to him, he will ensure that all rural areas benefited from social amenities, in order to improve the welfare of riverine residents. Akeredolu, who was represented by Mrs. Abike Ilawolle, Secretary, Ondo State Public Utility, commended CNL, the sponsors of the laudable project which, he said, was first of its kind.
“Rural electrification is part of our administration’s agenda and we will ensure that rural dwellers, especially residents in the riverine areas, have access to social amenities for life to be enjoyable to them, unlike their land counterparts.
“The communities should prioritise these projects and guarantee its security in order to charge the government to do more and extend such to other riverine communities to bring succour to them.”
Goke Ojatuwase, Chairman, Ilaje Local council, who also commended the IRDC and sponsors of the laudable project, said it would relieve the two communities of total darkness.
He said the project, which was one of its kind, had set the pace for other states to emulate, assuring the riverine communities of more dividends of democracy from the present administration in the state.
Meanwhile, Mr. Roland Akintoye, Chairman, IRDC, expressed gladness for the completion of the project which, he said, had set the group on the highest pedestal in the community’s drive for an improved standard of living.
Ayodeji Olumilua, Managing Director, A4, and T Power Solutions, contractor of the projects, said that residents of the riverine communities would enjoy uninterrupted power supply, with 40 per cent discount on tariffs, compared to normal electricity.
“We have metered all the 200 houses and shops for them to enjoy the uninterrupted power supply.
“The token amount of money that was paid on their prepaid meters would generate funds that would be used to maintain and sustain the solar cabin grid.’’
Mr. Aribo Adegoke, a resident of Awoye community, said the solar electricity was a welcome development for them, as they now have access to noiseless electricity at a cheaper rate, compared to generating sets and its expenses.
Another beneficiary from Odofado community, Mrs. Folashade Ojagun, said she had totally lost hope in electricity, as no government had been able to erect poles on the river to provide electricity, until the advent of solar power.