Image credit: Nigeria's Rural Electrification Agency.

The Shimankar community has joined a number of communities across Nigeria that are experiencing social and economic progress facilitated by the solar mini-grids project under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).

At the end of 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through its implementing agency – Rural Electrification Agency (REA), commissioned a 234KW solar hybrid mini-grid power plant in Shimankar community, Shendam Local Government Area.

The REA managing director and CEO, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, emphasised the Federal Government’s commitment to meeting its developmental goals by providing electricity access for all.

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Reiterating REA’s role, he stated that “as an agency, we are responsible for powering unserved and underserved communities, therefore, it is fulfilling every time homes, businesses, schools and medical centres are connected to sustainable solar power.

“Almost immediately, we are able to witness rural communities being transformed with clean energy through the jobs that are created during construction, to their micro and small businesses scaling to larger capacity thanks to reliable electricity,” Ahmad added.

The CEO of Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited, Ifeanyi Orajaka, shared that the installed mini-grid comprising a total of 234kw of solar PV, 100KVA of diesel backup generator and 236kWh of lithium battery storage will adequately energise the community.

He also mentioned that the solar hybrid mini-grid in Shimankar aims to provide reliable electricity to 1,972 households, 273 commercial users, five productive users and 19 public users in the community to improve the socio-economic life of the community. 

“It is a thing of pride that GVE, an indigenous Nigerian firm, can be a part of developing Nigeria’s rural areas. Thanks to this project, Nigerian solar developers, like myself, can access these investment opportunities and participate in growing Nigeria’s evolving off-grid sector,” said Orajaka.

Increasing off grid energy access in Nigeria

All On CEO Wiebe Boer also commented: “We are very proud to have financed this project that enables GVE to bring clean, reliable energy to Shimankar, in line with our mission to increase off-grid energy access in Nigeria. This will create thousands of new electricity connections, and we expect to see measurable productivity growth and economic benefits for the community in the near future.”

His Royal Highness Miskoom Maurice Danjuma Manu III, the traditional ruler in the agrarian settlement of Shimankar, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and the private sector developer for providing electricity to their community. “Our businesses are now fully operational; especially at night. Our businesses are growing; we can buy and enjoy cold beverages in the provision shops. Today is indeed the beginning of better things to come for Shimankar.”