By Perpetua Onuegbu
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, inaugurated a 1.52MWP and 2.28MWH Solar Microgrid System and Energy Retrofitting of the Ministry of Works and Housing in Abuja.
The President was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha at the inauguration.
He said that the energy would engender a more conducive working environment for the workers while making room for better efficiency and quality service delivery.
He said that government was committed to delivering the solar energy alternative locally and internationally.
The President noted that the project would impact positively on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) scale businesses, market places, offices and university environment and promote nigerian economy, as well as create jobs.
President Buhari said that he was committed to the Climate Change Agreement to reduce carbon emissions and save the planet from global warming.
“This 1.52MW solar panel is the largest solar project fabrication in West Africa and designed to reduce carbon emissions and it is something to be proud that we are contributing to saving the planet for future generations.
“We have just embarked on a 150MW of Solar power on the Maiduguri axis to help address the issue of electricity supply along the axis, while enhancing business activities through renewable energy,” he said.
He expressed optimism that more will be delivered across the country in the public and private sectors.
The President, therefore, commissioned the project for improved service delivery and economic development of the nation.
Speaking, Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, said the project was approved by the Federal Executive Council on the March 20, 2019 at the time when the Ministry of Power was part of Works and Housing.
According to him, they delivered based on the mandate of the Federal Executive Council, a 1.52 MegaWatts Solar System that will provide uninterrupted power supply to five blocks housing, Works, Environment and Lands Ministries.
“This project employed 382 artisans and 176 skilled workers throughout its duration, in fulfillment of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of creating jobs.
“It will see to the reduction of average diesel consumption from764,248 litres per annum to 166,825 litres per annum and cost saving of NGN270,945,000 over 20 years.
“And, contribute to the reduction of government operational expenses and recurrent expenditure,’’Fashola explained.
He further said that the solar power system had led to the upgrade and retrofitting of the ministries electrical appliances by replacing 400 old Air-conditioning units with 400 new inverter-based energy efficient Air-conditioning units.
Fashola said that it enabled the replacing of 2600 old light fittings with energy efficient LED ones all of which were energy saving because they consumed 40 percent less energy.
He, therefore, called on other ministries and agencies of government to also build such solar facility to promote greater efficiency, adding that they are ready to provide support.
On her part, the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Mrs Amina Mohammed, said that over 750 million people in the world still lack access to electricity and the opportunity for achieving sustainable development goals.
“2.6 billion people lack access for cooking, for lighting of their homes only two percent renewable energy over the past decade have come to Africa.
“And, just a few within the continent have abundant and untouched renewable energy resources.
“This is why we need to be grateful for this launch ceremony today which highlights Nigeria’s commitment to the energy transmission with renewables. It is a kind of responsive action that we need.
“This project launch today is the expression on the kind of innovation on efficiency and renewables that the world needs, but much more importantly the partnerships that are required,”Mohammed said. (NAN)