Schneider Electric renews commitment to enhance rural access to electricity
Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, has restated its pledge to partner with government, NGOs, entrepreneurs among others to tackle the challenge of lack of access to power especially in the rural areas. The commitment was made by Mr. Marcel Hochet, Country President of Schneider Electric during the ‘One Day Appraisal workshop on Access to Electricity in Odighi Community of Edo State’ organized by Community Research and Development Centre (CREDC) with support from UNDP to mark the World Environment Day in Benin City.
According to Mr. Hochet, ‘Schneider Electric is concerned about people in rural communities across Nigeria who do not have access to power. We understand this massive challenge and we are ready to bring our technology and solutions to support initiatives aimed at extending power to the rural areas’.
He further said that Schneider Electric takes full cognizance of absence of grid electricity in many rural communities and has developed alternative sources of power using solar energy. ‘We are aware that many rural communities in Nigeria do not have access to grid electricity. Consequently, we have developed renewable energy solutions which do not require grid access and which generates power without impacting the environment. Among these solutions are Villasol – a solar off-grid solution already deployed in Asore, Ogun state, In-Diya – an individual home lighting system which has been deployed with success in Odighi community of Edo State and Water of the Sun, a water pumping solar solution which has been deployed in Nassarawa state’, he added.
Mr. Hochet commended CREDC for organising the event. He said that the successful deployment of In-Diya in Odighi community by CREDC is a further proof of the reliability and efficiency of the solution. He said Schneider Electric is ready to partner with other agencies who share similar vision and is willing to meet with stakeholders to explore opportunities of developing and strengthening relations. He said Schneider Electric will sustain its partnership with CREDC to extend power to other communities in Edo State.
Speaking during the event, Mr. Etiosa Uyigue, Executive Director of CREDC said the workshop was aimed at reviewing the deployment of In-Diya in Odighi, a project financed by the GEF small grants fund under the UNDP, and assessing its success recorded to date. He said that between 200-400 people in Odighi are currently enjoying power even as the group has deployed the solution in about 40 homes in the community.
Mr. Uyigue thanked Schneider Electric and UNDP for their support and said that as a result of the success recorded in Odighi, CREDC has developed plans to implement similar project in other communities of the state.
In his goodwill message, Mr. Louis Odion, Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, represented by Mr. Okuo Isaac, thanked the organizers for the initiative. He said that Edo State Government shares the view that there’s need to diversify sources of energy in the state. He said that renewable energy sources have an edge because it is cost effective, less hazardous and doesn’t affect the environment unlike the conventional sources of power.
Mr. Odion called for the removal of power generation from the exclusive list of the Nigerian constitution. He said the removal will encourage investment in the sector. Mr. Odion added that providing power to rural dwellers is necessary to drive economic growth and encourage the development of micro enterprises. He called on other NGOs to emulate CREDC’s initiative by assisting other communities.
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