Nigeria announces $150m investment in rural electrification

Nigeria will spend about $150 million to provide electricity using off-grid solutions to her rural communities, its minister in charge of power, works and housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has disclosed.

Fashola said at a forum in Lagos – the 2016 European Union-Nigeria Business Forum, that the funds will be used to provide solar and gas independent power plants in 44 tertiary institutions, as well as develop small hydro dams in rural areas of the country.

According to him, the projects would be the anchors for the government revised rural electrification programme.

He noted that 37 of the 44 tertiary institutions audited for the projects were universities while seven were teaching hospitals.

The government, he stated will deploy 37 IPPs made up of nine gas plants and 28 solar plants with a combined generation capacity of 120 megawatts (MW) to power all the universities.

He also said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the programme, adding that the 37 IPPs would replace 1,105 generators that were hitherto serving the institutions and generating 210MW of “inefficient and unclean energy”.

Nigeria had recently disclosed its review of its rural electrification programme to amongst other objectives, hinge it on using renewable and off-grid solutions to provide access to electricity for its rural population who are mostly not connected to the grid, or are connected but underserved by the grid.