In a bid to electrify some riverine communities in Ondo State, oil giants, NNPC and Chevron in partnership with Ilaje Rural Development Committee (IRDC) have inaugurated solar power electricity.
The communities are Awoye and Odofado in Ilaje Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
The “Solar Power Mini Grid Energy Cabins” which would benefit no fewer than 200 residents in the communities was initiated by the IRDC and funded by NNPC/Chevron.
While commissioning the project on Friday, the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said that rural electrification was part of his administration’s agenda.
According to him, he will ensure that all rural areas benefited from social amenities in order to improve welfare of riverine residents.
Akeredolu, who was represented by Mrs Abike Ilawolle, the Secretary, Ondo State Public Utility, commended the sponsors of the laudable project which he said was first of its kind.
“Rural electrification is part of our administration’s agenda and we will ensure that rural dwellers, especially residents in the riverine areas have access to social amenities for life to be enjoyable to them unlike their land counterparts.
“The communities should priotise these projects and guarantee its security in order to charge the government to do more and extend such to other riverine communities to bring succour to them.
The Chairman, Ilaje LGA, Mr Goke Ojatuwase, who also commended the IRDC and sponsors of the laudable project, said it would relieve the two communities of total darkness.
He said the project which was one of its kind had set the pace for other states to emulate, assuring the riverine communities of more dividends of democracy from the present administration in the state.
Meanwhile, Mr Roland Akintoye, the Chairman, IRDC expressed gladness for the completion of the project which he said had set the group to the highest pedestal in the community drive for improved standard of living.
He thanked the state government, the LGA and NNPC/Chevron for the synergy which had blossomed into cordial relationship and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) beneficial to residents of the riverine communities.
Managing Director, A4 and T Power Solutions, Engr. Ayodeji Olumilua, contractor of the projects said that residents of the riverine communities would enjoy uninterrupted power supply with 40 percent discount on tariffs compared to normal electricity.
“We have metered all the 200 houses and shops for them to enjoy the uninterrupted power supply.
“The token amount of money that was paid on their prepaid meters would generate funds that would be used to maintain and sustain the solar cabin grid.’’
Mr Aribo Adegoke, a resident of Awoye community said that the solar electricity was a welcome development for them as they now have access to noiseless electricity at cheaper rate compared to generating set and its expenses.
Another beneficiary from Odofado community, Mrs Folashade Ojagun said she had totally lost hope in electricity as no government had been able to erect poles on the river to provide electricity until the advent of the solar power.
IRDC was a community-based organisation solely funded by NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Ltd.
It was founded in 2014 under Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) on SGD’s between Ondo State government and NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Limited to manage community development on issues arising from oil exploration.