By Habibu Harisu (08030742601)
Sokoto – The Federal Government is collaborating with Sokoto State Government on establishment of 10-megawatt solar-powered electricity plant that will connect agencies and about 100 communities in the state.
Alhaji Balarabe Dandin-Mahe, the Sokoto state Commissioner for Energy and Petroleum Resources, disclosed this to newsmen on Sunday in Sokoto.
He noted that the project was on conception stage and all relevant partners had been engaged for the commencement.
Dandin-Mahe said agencies to benefit from the project included Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH), Sultan Abubalar III International Airport, International Conference centre and Sokoto State Water Board besides no fewer than 100 settlements.
He said the project would be executed by Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Sokoto state government, Kaduna Electricity Company and other partners.
He explained that the design was to provide electricity on 24-hour basis to the benefiting communities in Yabo, Shagari local government areas as well as parts of Sokoto metropolis.
According to him, smart metering will be provided to consumers.
He expressed optimism that when completed it would rejuvenate business actitivies and reduce burden on the national grid.
The Commissioner added that another 30 megawatt solar/wind electricity supply project in parnership with the Federal Government was underway at Jaribi community in Shagari local government area.
He said land for the project had been provided while engineers had conducted feasiblity studies for the commencement of the project.
Dandin-Mahe explained that it was designed to provide electricity to 22 communities located at hinterland far away from the national grid.
The Commissioner noted that state government was investing in renewable energy project in recognition of the abundant sources across the state as well as being environmental-friendly in terms of pollution and sustainablity.
According to him, two communities in the state, Kurdula and Torankawa, are fully enjoying completed solar powered electricity projects and not dependent on the national grid at present.
He further said that the state government also initiated 38-megawatt Independent Power Project (IPP) handled by foreign partners which had reached advanced stage.
He said some foreign experts were being expected in the country in December for completion of the project which would surely boost electricity supply across the state.
He pointed out that all efforts were geared toward mitigating low level of electricity supply, enhancing economic and social activties as well as struggle against desertification through reducing tree felling for cooking and other environmental sustainablity.
Dandin-Mahe said enlightenment on safe and productive use of electricity had began in all areas across the state as well as importance of bill payment as at when due.