Solar-powered mini-grid at Eriwe farm village will help alleviate Poverty —- Official

By Abiodun Lawal

The solar-powered mini-grid system built at Eriwe Farm Village near Ijebu-Ode in Ogun by the Federal Government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) will help in alleviating poverty.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the farm village is host to one of the biggest fish farms in Nigeria and is on 156 hectares of land.

Mr Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, the agency’s Managing Director who led a team to inspect the project, told newsmen it was part of government’s policies to alleviate poverty in the agricultural sector.

He said the project planned for each geo-political zone would reduce cost and reliance on fuel to power pumping machines by fish farmers.

“The project is part of our pragmatic approaches to budgeting, which we have been doing in the last couple of years. In this, we are looking at alleviation of poverty especially around the agricultural sector.

“What we have here is a 100-kilowatt system, powering the agricultural setting under the Ijebu development community programme for poverty alleviation.

“Beyond the mini-grid being powered, this inspection is to see what is the best use of the power we have provided here,” Ahmad said.

He added that the project would provide power for about 10 per cent of the farm.

The REA Managing Director however disclosed that there was a plan for an expansion of the project, which would be based on demands received.

“This is a 100-kilowatt project and I learnt that it is only powering 10 per cent and so, essentially, it means we are talking about one megawatt.

“In terms of the payment, obviously it is not going to be free because this is something the government has done as a proof of concept so that we can create that environment for private developers to actually expand upon it.”

He explained that the subscription fee would be determined by the stakeholders in such a way that it would be affordable to the farmers.

The President of Farmer Aquaculture Union, Eriwe Farm Village, Quadri Oriyomi , described the project as a welcome development, saying it would relieve the farmers.

“After the subsidy removal, it had been difficult for farmers to buy fuel of as little as N500 per litre to power their pumping machines because it would not yield any profit.


“So, the farmers will be willing to pay for the subscription because it will pay off in comparison to the money spent daily to buy fuel.


“But the project can only cover 10 per cent, because the land here is over 156 hectares where we have over 500 farmers. We have about 42 groups and in each group we have over 30 people.


“This is just like a sample to test-run how it is going to go round so that everybody will benefit. We have agreed to subscribe to the solar power with the minimum price that is not going to affect the farmers,” he said.


Oriyomi appealed to the Federal Government to expand the solar power project so that other farmers could benefit.



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