THE Federal Government FG on Tuesday, commissioned a 1.2MegaWatts solar power plant project donated to it by the Japanese government on a $9.7million grant.
The project was executed by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
While commissioning the 1st phase of the project at the lower Usuma Dam, Bwari, Abuja, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said the initiative is aimed at supporting the FG’s vision of incremental, steady and uninterrupted power supply in the country.
According to him, the energy mix of the country would be expanded to make her less dependent on gas and be more dependent on renewable energy like the solar, wind, biomass, nuclear and hydro.
He stated that the present administration would deliver all inherited ongoing projects started by the previous administration.
“One of things that this administration under President Muhammadu Buhari promised was that unlike in the past we will continue with all the projects that we met that are visible, that are viable and we would complete them and this project is one of those projects that is now completed.
“This government will keep his word and as we said at the inauguration of the power works and housing roadmap for electricity development that we are going to start from incremental power because there is not enough power.
“We would go for incremental power to steady power and we would go from steady power to uninterrupted power. This is the first step to incremental power. Again we have kept our word and we have added more power here.
“We also told you that we would expand the energy means of Nigeria and make her less dependent on gas and more dependent on renewable energy, solar, wind, bio-mass, nuclear, coal and hydro we are keeping our word today and we are expanding that energy means with this solar power plant. We fix that committment that we would do what we say,” he said.
He stated further that the initiative of will provide job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths.
“We will use the opportunity of our developmental initiatives to bring this economy in a manner that includes people, in a manner that enables them get the opportunity to get up every morning and say I am going to work.
“We will do that by creating job with every initiatives that will do. Again we have fulfilled that committment by this initaitive because 10 engineers, 60 technicians and 130 support staffs get an opportunity to work at the site.
“When this project ultimately finishes in January not all of them will leave the site because the project needs to be maintained. So this will be a continuing life partnership for many people who before now don’t have a job,” he added
On his part, the Chief Representative of JICA Nigeria, Mr Hirotaka Nakamura said improving core infrastructure was one of the priority areas of JICA programmes in Nigeria.
He pointed out that power is key to a developing economy even as he added that alternative energy resources such as solar, wind and hydropower will make a difference.
According to him, the first phase of the project with generation capacity of 975kwp would be added to the grid.
He said: “This project was thus designed to introduce a demonstration unit of solar electricity generation system with a view to increasing its economic strength on a sustainable basis.
“With this Japanese grant, about 1.2 megawatts of grid connected solar generation will be gained at Usuma Dam Water treatment plant to supplement electricity supply from the grid. Following successful tests on the installed solar system, the first phase of the project with generation capacity of 975kwp is being commissioned today.”
The project is being executed with grant assistance from the Japanese government with a total sum of $9.7 million (980,000,000 Yen) through Federal Capital Territory Water Board (FTCWB) under the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).