As part of strategy to check rural-urban drift, coupled with mission to stimulate agricultural productivity in the rural areas across the state, Ogun State has finalised plans with the European Union on the construction of mini power grids, deploying renewable energy sources for the provision of electricity.
BusinessDay reports that the construction of renewable energy mini grids and subsequent electrification of rural areas in the state forms part of waste-to-wealth energy project for which the EU launch of its feasibility study and funded the project with €300,000.
Speaking during a working visit to Ogun State recently, Felix Zacheo, head of Unit on Sustainable Energy and Climate Change of the EU, explained that the objective of the visit was to assess the level of development and implementation of energy in the pilot community.
He said the working visit was also to determine other sectors of the economy requiring intervention, as the mission of the EU in the state was not only to electrify rural areas through renewable energy sources, but also to devise strategic plans for systematic development of socio-economic activities across the state.
Responding on behalf of the state, Yetunde Onanuga, deputy governor, who doubles as commissioner for rural development, noted that though GIZ, a German International Agency, was already committed to the project, the support of the EU would further aid timely delivery of the mini power project. Onanuga said the partnership would advance the state in power generation through renewable energy sources, check rural-urban drift, explaining that the State government had already commenced installation of electrical facilities in Gbamu Gbamu, a community in Ijebu East Local Government Area of the state where the renewable energy project pilot scheme is expected to kick off.
She assured rural dwellers that electricity challenges confronting most rural communities in the state would soon become a thing of the past, just as she added that some of the solar equipment and materials to be provided at the pilot phase to include, 45 Kilowatt PVL Solar Hybrid and 60 Kilowatt Diesel Generator for back up, 6.6 Kilometre Low Voltage Line with 150 Electricity Poles and Pre-paid Meters, among other energy equipment.
Corroborating deputy governor on State Special Intervention Projects for rural dwellers, Adegbele Olugbebi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, said the State government would ensure that rural communities had more access to basic social amenities that would further improve the people’s standard of living as plans are underway to construct 500km rural roads under World Bank projects.
But, Adekunle Fayomi, the Baale of Gbamu Gbamu Community, appreciated the State government for choosing the community for the pilot scheme, saying the commencement of the project has erased doubts and renewed their confidence in government’s commitment to the welfare of rural dwellers.