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The Bank of Industry (BoI) on Friday disbursed a total of N75.8 million to GVE Projects Ltd, and Arnergy Solar Ltd to provide solar home systems to off-grid communities in six states.

Mr Rasheed Olaoluwa, Managing Director, BoI, while presenting the cheques, Olaoluwa said that the energy project which was in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) cost $4.8 billion.

He said that UNDP which had 50 per cent stake in the project had so far contributed $1.6 billion.

He said that the project was divided into two, namely the Stand Alone, which costs N31.6 million, and the Micro-Grid, which cost N44.2 million, making a total of N75.8 million.

The states for the pilot phase for the take-off are, Anambra, Delta, Niger, Osun, Kaduna and Gombe.

Olaoluwa also said that the energy project would involve the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and local meter manufacturers in the provision of maintenance equipment, meters and batteries.

He stated that the project would be run on a Pay As You Go basis, and it would not be a threat to existing electricity distribution companies, as the communities to be used for the pilot phase are off-grid.

“There are two major systems, the Stand Alone, which is for singular homes, and to be attached to their roofs, while the Micro-Grid would be used as a cluster for different homes in the community.

“The choice whether to use the micro-grid or stand alone, would depend on the type of settlement in the chosen communities, which has not less than 200 houses.

“The solar system upon being installed can power 4 LED lamps, Television, radio and other appliances, with an average daily cost of N50.

“After the pilot phase has been proven successful, we have a long term goal to provide 100,000 homes with the solar power systems within the next five years.

“The project would provide a long term solution to the problematic state of power generation, which is presently less than 4000 megawatts.

“Many Nigerians have resulted to the use of generators and lanterns, even from our factories, which has continually caused noise and environmental pollution, and the world is embracing solar energy,” he said.

He stated that the programme was a more viable solution to rural-urban migration and poverty alleviation, especially in the rural communities not covered by the national grid.

Also speaking at the event, one of the recipients of the loan, Mr Ifeanyi Orajaka, assured the stakeholders that the quality of the project would be of international standard.

Orajaka stated that a model of such project had been done by his company in a community in Rivers state since 2013.

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