By Najem Francis, Sokoto
Sokoto State government has commenced the connection of a number of rural households with solar power as part of efforts to promote energy usage and enhance rural electrification in the state.
The Spokesman to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Malam Imam Imam, said in a statement that a pilot scheme has already started in Kurdula, a rural settlement of Balle town in Gudu local government area of the state.
Quoting the Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on Public Private Partnership (PPP), Bashir Gidado, the statement said that the project is a four-party partnership between the state government, the Nigeria Energy Support Project (NESP), GIZ of Germany and GoSolar.
“This is an off grid mini solar project. The idea is to provide solar power to rural communities who are not covered by the national grid using solar energy which we have in abundance in Sokoto.
“Kurdula is a rural settlement in Balle. It was chosen to serve as the location for the pilot scheme after series of deliberations between all the partners and local stakeholders”, the Special Adviser.
“So far, GIZ has already completed the installation of the distribution network. The next phase, which is the Generation network, will be provided by GoSolar. The state government has provided land for the project while payment of compensation as approved by Governor Tambuwal is being processed as we speak.
“All Generation equipment have already arrived the country and are expected in Sokoto any moment. Overall, the targeted population will be provided with clean energy for domestic use and minor commercial uses at very affordable rates,” he added.
According to him, the project was being coordinated by a State Working Group which has membership drawn from relevant MDAs and the office of SSG under the supervision of Engineer Yusuf Ganda.
He said that the project would be officially unveiled within the next three months.