The House of Representatives has moved to investigate the Federal Government’s abandoned N3.4 billion solar-powered Grid Project in the six Geo-Political Zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The House set up an ad hoc committee to that effect to find out why the project, codenamed Operation Light Up Rural Nigeria, was abandoned by the Federal Ministry of Power since 2018 despite the huge amounts of money expended on it. The committee is to investigate and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.
These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by a member, Aniekan Umanah during the plenary held on Tuesday. The motion was titled ‘Need to investigate the failure of the Federal Government’s N3.4bn solar-powered grid project in the six geopolitical zones and the Federal Capital Territory.’
While moving the motion, Umanah recalled that the then Federal Ministry of Power, in 2013, rolled out an Off-Grid Renewable Solar Energy Project with a budget of N3.446 billion for four years. He went on to lament the inefficient handling of the project which had defeated the purpose of powering up rural areas.
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What you should know: The project, which was launched on January 14, 2014, was for the purpose of deploying renewable energy to get electricity to rural communities that are not on the national grid, in all the 36 states of the federation. The project was targeted at four communities of Durumi-Mpape, Waru, Shape in the FCT as a pilot scheme with plans to expand the scope later to other States of the Federation.
Reports have it that when the present Administration in 2015 came on board, the project was rechristened Renewable Energy (Solar) Micro Utility (REMU) by the then Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and was expanded to provide additional 18 mini-grids with three in each geopolitical zone.