Oyo State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Barrister ‘Seun Ashamu, has revealed that the government through the ministry, is on the verge of piloting renewable energy systems in some rural communities in the state, in order to boost socio economic activities of the areas and the state at large.
Barrister Ashamu, made this known while delivering his opening address at a one-day webinar summit on renewable energy for commercials and industries in Oyo state, organised by the State’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.
Ashamu disclosed further that the government was actively pursuing the distribution of renewable energy in rural areas through the provision of mini grids and solar homes systems for residents towards adding value to their existence as contained in the ministry’s policy document recently approved by the State Executive Council.
Barrister Ashamu maintained that the energy renewable summit which was attended by members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria amongst other key stakeholders, became imperative for the ministry to bring in formidable private developers willing to deploy solutions for the well-being of residents of the state, going by the current cost of energy and its challenges.
According to him, “one of the aims of this administration is to drive the economy of the state through industry and agriculture, we understand that access and availability to energy at all segments of the value chain are critical to inducing economic growth and improving livelihoods.
“Oyo state is home to many industries and we know the overhead costs for energy consumption can be challenging. This is why we put together a panel of a few leading resource persons to broadly discuss some of the benefits and challenges of renewables in business with a view to proffering solutions within the shortest possible time for companies to thrive as expected.
The commissioner noted that the Oyo state government has keyed into the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goal number 7 and a number of other international protocols for the benefit of all and sundry. He thereafter assured developers and consumers of an enabling environment for sustainability of projects.
In their separate remarks, The Chief Executive Officer, Protergia Nigeria LTD, Mr. Ayodeji O’Deji; The Country Manager, RP Global, Mr. Kolawole Akinboye; and, the Chief Executive Officer, Stellaris Power Solutions, Mr. Chinedu Igbokwe, while commending the state government for the initiative, emphasised the need for industrialists to engage professionals while embarking on solar energy projects for their companies.
The trio, who allayed the fears of the public on the life span of solar energy systems, reiterated the need for companies to pay attention and purchase quality equipment, ensure proper installation and maintenance of gadgets for their businesses to witness rapid growth.
“Solar is not expensive, it is reliable and environmentally friendly. The most important thing is to ensure proper design, operation and maintenance, if done to standard, systems should last for 10 to 25 years.”