By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
A 47.5 Kilowatts Solar system for Doka rural hospital, Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State has been commissioned.
The project, tagged Kaduna Solar for Health, is conceived under a technical assistance programme, through the Nigerian Solar Programme, which is a bilateral cooperation programme that is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Department for International Department (DFID).
Minister of Power, Egr. Mamman Saleh attributed the success of the project to policies and regulatory instruments enunciated by the present administration.
He said the policies of the government allow for close collaboration with development partners and private sector.
Mamman said solid foundation has been laid for the growth of electricity industry.
He said the nation’s grid power generation capacity currently stood at over 7500MW, while the transmission capacity has also improved to 7000MW
“The projects demonstrate how partnership and collaboration among stakeholders can lead to concrete results. In this case the Department for International Development partnered with Kaduna state government to develop this project, providing reliable electricity supply, which will improve the lives of people through improved; healthcare, education, water and jobs creation.
“It is therefore not a coincidence that we are gathered here to commission this 45.7Kw solar energy system at Doka rural hospital. Our being here today reflects a deliberate demonstration of the importance both the state federal government attached to provision of electricity in remote and underserved rural communities all over Nigeria using distributed power generation with locally available resource such as solar. It also demonstrates our appreciation for the support received by the projects from our partners.
“It is important to note the roles being played by the federal and state governments by providing the enabling environment in the form of policy and regulatory frameworks, and basic infrastructural support such as land allocation and provision of access road”.
In an address at the occasion, Ketil Karlsen, Ambassador, Head of Delegation, European Union delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), said the EU has always been a strong supporter of innovative initiatives aimed at accelerating the development and improving the lives of Nigerian people.
He described the project as killing two birds with one stone as it combines access to renewable energy and access to basic healthcare.
“Access to affordable energy is a key driver of development and access to effective health service delivery is a cornerstone of any society ” he said.
Welcoming the visitors, Mallam Nasir El-Rufa’i, the Kaduna state governor, commended the EU and DFID for the success of the project.
El Rufai who was represented by Hadiza Balarabe, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, said the collaboration between DFID and KDSG has helped to increase quality of service and patient patronage in the hospital.