The Federal Government completed 1,375 rural power projects in various communities across the country for a total of N45.89 billion over a three-year period, according to the latest figures obtained from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
Data gleaned showed that the FG, through its REA, undertook the projects between 2020 and 2022 by increasing the capacity of the national power grid, increasing the number of mini-grids, deploying solar home systems, and installing solar street lights.
“Capital projects in the last three years, 2020 – 2022, is 1,375 in number. Total projects cost is N45.89bn,” the REA indicated in its 2022 Strategic Interventions report.
During the review period, the government was able to deliver an installed capacity of 238.4 megawatts to the national electricity grid, according to a breakdown of the projects.
It stated that 476,800 households benefited from this, as the installed capacity on the grid affected 2.38 million people, and the project cost N19.11 billion.
According to the report, a total of 67 mini-grids were developed over a three-year period, providing 0.64MW of electricity to 657.14 households, totaling 3,290 people, while N6.35 billion was spent on this project.
During the three-year period, the government provided 556 solar home systems to support 2,780 people through its rural power agency at a cost of N1.03 billion.
Further information revealed that over the same time period, the agency provided solar streetlights for a total distance of 557.5km at a cost of N17.96 billion.
The report included the preliminary needs assessment and implementation framework for the 2022 electrification programs, as well as the agency’s interventions for the year 2022 in the execution of capital projects.
It named the programmes to include the deployment of solar mini-grids (high-capacity productive use), solar water pumps (irrigation schemes), and solar home systems (low-capacity productive use) across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
“Before the strategic interventions, some of the baseline conditions and challenges of the beneficiaries included access to electricity and water, petrol consumption patterns, security conditions, employment conditions, gender inclusivity, and major crops produced.
“After the interventions, an assessment exercise was then conducted to determine the social, environmental, and economic impact on the livelihoods in the beneficiary communities,” the report stated.
It stated that in 2022, six communities were equipped with a 100-kW solar mini-grid system.
“The systems were designed to prioritise productive users, including agro-processing businesses, homes, commercial users, as well as public spaces.
“Over 8,155 lives and 5,000 active farmers have been impacted with uninterrupted power supply and clean affordable water, translating to over 60 direct and indirect jobs created, improved security, increased productivity, improved healthcare, as well as the decommissioning of over 40 diesel and petrol generators.
“Based on the current and future estimations, the reductions in carbon emissions were also encouraging,” the agency stated.
It said 1,392 irrigation solar pumps were distributed across the six geopolitical zones, reaching 1,300 male and 92 female beneficiaries, as well as about 200 farm clusters.
“Over 11,000 lives and 6,000 farmers (including about 810 female farmers) have been directly impacted. This impact has translated to the illumination of over 170 farms with solar street lights, the training of over 3,000 farmers on pump maintenance and new irrigation practices, and more importantly, cost savings,” it said.