The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who inaugurated the project at Durumi near Mpape, Abuja said the project was part of the transformation agenda for the power sector.
“We are here today to inaugurate a special initiative of the Federal Ministry of Power called “Operation light up rural Nigeria’’.
“This is part of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda for the sector which is aimed at taking light to every part of Nigeria, including the remotest villages,’’ Nebo said.
He explained that the project, which is in partnership with some foreign firms Philips and Snieder of Netherlands and Germany, was aimed at providing 24 hours solar powered energy to all parts of the country.
Nebo said that the ministry deliberately chose a rural area in the suburb of Abuja to start the pilot programme in order to bring the dividends of democracy closer to the grassroots.
The minister said that the three kilowatts capacity solar panel was built to provide power for the over 1,050 households in that community.
He said that by the time the project was completed, every household in the community would get electricity from the solar panel which they would eventually pay a token as maintenance charges.
“We have provided temporary building with 24 hours electricity so that you can properly store vaccines from the clinic and charge your phones free of charge,’’ he said.
The minister, however, enjoined the community to ensure the protection of the solar panels and safeguard it from vandals.
He assured the community that some of the youths would be trained on how to maintain and repair the solar panel.
The community leader, Chief Ibrahim Jarumi, in his response, thanked the Federal Government for the laudable project.
Jarumi, who told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) through an interpreter after the event, said the inauguration of the project had put his small community on Nigeria’s map.
“This project will go a long way in bringing empowerment and development to my people,’’ he said.
He promised to mobilise the youths in the community to ensure the protection of the facility. (NAN)