Gombe – The Bank of Industry (BOI), in collaboration with the UNDP, are to spend N44 million on the provision of off-grid micro solar facility in Kalwa community of Kaltungo Local Government Area in Gombe state.
Mr Rasheed Olaoluwa, Managing Director of the bank, announced this in Gombe on Thursday during the inauguration of the Gombe Zonal office of the Bank.
He said that the project was a renewable energy initiative recently launched by BOI, in partnership with UNDP.
According to him, the project is aimed at providing low cost solar energy to the community, which is not connected to the national grid.
“Kalwa community in Gombe is just one of the beneficiaries of the pilot phase; other states lined up to benefit include Anambra, Delta, Kaduna Niger and Osun.
“Our ultimate goal is to replicate the project in other communities in Gombe state and Nigeria, that have no access to the national grid.
“We will therefore require the support of government for the venture to succeed,” he said.
He said that the BOI, in its quest to deepen its developmental impact in the country, had adopted the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s commodities-based industrialization strategy as its Small and Medium scale Enterprise (SME) developmental model.
“In this regard, BOI has identified 34 product clusters nationwide.
“Gombe, being a major hub for clusters in the north east, will be a beneficiary of this initiative,” he said.
He said that the clusters identified included meat processing, metal fabrication, rice milling, groundnut oil production, gum arabic and dproducts.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
Others included cotton and its entire value chain, gypsum and limestone.
In his speech, Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo said that in 2011, his government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BOI on entrepreneurship development partnership, involving the sum of N1 billion.
“Consequently, with the signing of the MoU, we gave the counterpart funding of N250 million to the bank for the first batch.
“The amount was matched with the equivalent N250 million from the BOI to create a pool of N500 million, which was disbursed as loans to respective entrepreneurs in the state,” he said.
Dankwambo said that 171 cooperatives societies benefitted from the programme, with 1,190 direct and 562 indirect jobs created in the process. (NAN)