As part of the Federal Government’s plan to provide electricity for 25 million citizens who lacked access to the national grid, the Federal Executive Council on Tuesday said that it has approved the establishment of an Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) for this purpose.

The Ministry of Power in a statement by the Special Assistant, Media and Communication to the Minister of Power, Mr Aaron Artimas, said the programme tagged, ‘Energy for All’ is aimed at providing five million solar connections to various locations throughout the country, in collaboration with state governments.

According to the Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman, the committee will ensure accelerated progress and efficiency between the implementing partners and State Governments.

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Chaired by Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbanjo and comprising several Cabinet members, Artimas said the ESC was expected to also draw participation from private sector solar providers, including SMEs, in the deployment of solar power to the households.

“The ESC is further expected to attract investment of solar panel manufacturers into Nigeria, building on the work already done by NASENI and others”, the statement said.

It also explained that the committee would also encourage private sector financing for off-grid solar energy projects with a minimum Tier (SOW-150W) system.

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It further stated that the programme was being implemented through existing structures within the Rural Electrification Agency with approved financing facilities from the Central Bank of Nigeria and participating Financial Institutions.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Power has approved the appointment of Mallam Abba Aliyu, an experienced power sector administrator, as Coordinator of the programme, Artimas said.

Aliyu, whose appointment is with immediate effect, would have the responsibility of engaging with all parties to make the programme successful through maximum partnership and cooperation, especially between the Federal Rural Electrification Agency and State Rural Electrification Agencies and a partnership with the CBN for the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Project.

By Peace Obi

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