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FG tackles energy shortage with off-grid plants

The Federal Government is planning to tackle energy poverty among Nigerians with the construction of off-grid power plants.

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, disclosed this on Tuesday at a 2-day stakeholders’ roundtable organised by the Rural Electrification Board in Abuja.

According to the minister, the off-grid plants would be sited in rural communities that are not originally connected to the national grid.

Adelabu noted that the vision of President Bola Tinubu was reflected clearly in the 2023 Electricity Act, saying that served as a testament to the country’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for sustainable energy development.

 He advised that the dichotomy between on-grid and off-grid solutions should no longer be seen as a division, but as complementary components of a holistic energy strategy.

 “By seamlessly integrating on-grid and off-grid efforts, we can ensure that every citizen, regardless of location, enjoys the benefits of a reliable and sustainable power supply,” he stated.

According to the minister, the concept of electricity access goes beyond having the lights on in various homes, businesses and institutions, but efforts must be geared towards addressing and catalysing the socio-economic benefits of sustainable energy access.

 “Only then have we done justice to this nation. Only then have we fully optimised this people-focused and strategic blueprint of Mr President as contained in the 2023 Electricity Act,” he noted.

 He said the ministry was addressing what he called the historical roadblocks militating progress in the energy sector, to ensure that Nigerians are provided with the services they deserve in the sector.

 “Energy Poverty still affects millions of Nigerians, especially in off-grid communities across the 774 local government areas. Our commitment to inclusivity must therefore be unwavering.

 “Rural electrification is not a side note; it is a centrepiece of our agenda. By ensuring that the benefits of electrification reach every corner of our nation, we are not only illuminating homes but catalysing economic growth, improving healthcare, and enhancing educational opportunities,” he remarked.

According to Adelabu, the global call for sustainability echoes in the current administration’s actions.

He asserted, “The integration of renewable energy sources into our grid is not just a choice; it is a responsibility.

“We only need to facilitate even more of such engagements. Witnessing the ongoing efforts of state governments to design their respective energy access pathways, we must leverage the abundant expertise, available data and technologies to strengthen these new pathways while creating a cleaner, more resilient energy infrastructure.”

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