As part of its efforts to boost electricity in the country, the Japanese government, through its agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has donated solar power worth $9.7 million to the Federal Government.
The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during the inauguration of the project.
Kusaoke stated that Japan considered the power sector as one of the most important areas to enhance Nigeria`s socio-economic development.
“Since from 1970s, Japan has helped to finance power sector to increase the capacity of power in Kainji dam hydro power station. “This is the 10th project of power sector by the Japan`s Government since then and this will not be our last. “
He said the project which entailed the introduction of clean energy by solar electricity was donated by the government of Japan to boost power and water supply at Usman Dam Water Treatment Plant.
“The project is being executed with grant assistance worth Nine Hundred and Eighty Million Japanese YEN (980,000,000 JPY) (equivalent to approximately 9.7 million USD) through JICA, “ he said.
According to Kusaoke, stable power supply is crucial to support industry and to improve economy and the lives of people.
The Ambassador emphasised the importance of stable power supply to Nigeria`s quest to diversify her economy.
He commended the designer of the project, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, for its design, management and the completion of the project on schedule.
Kusaoke, who explained that the project was capable of generating 1,496MWH, added that this would result in reduction of N31.5 million per year for payment of the electricity bill.
Earlier, Mr Hirotaka Nakamura, Chief Representative of JICA, Nigeria office, said improving core infrastructure including power sector in Nigeria was one of the priority areas of the agency in Nigeria.
According to Nakamura, developing alternative energy resources such as solar, wind and hydropower will boost electricity in the country.
He explained that the project was designed to introduce a demonstration unit of solar electricity generation system with a view to increasing its economic strength on a sustainable basis. According to the JICA official, with the Japanese assistance, about 1.2 mw of grid connected solar generation will be gained at Usman Dam Water Treatment Plant to supplement electricity supply from the national grid.
“Following successful tests on the installed solar system, the first phase of the project with generation capacity of 975kwp is being commissioned today.
“The second phase will bring additional 207kwp generation to this system hopefully in January 2017. “ Nakamura further stated that the project would contribute to the improvement of quality water supply in the Federal Capital Territory.
He, therefore, appealed to the FCT administration through its water board to handle the project with care and also provide sufficient funds to maintain the generation system. In his remark, Alhaji Hudu Bello, the Director, FCT Water Board, who expressed gratitude to the government of Japan and its agency JICA, said the project would improve revenue accruable from the water sector in the FCT.
“This is elaborate project that will improve water supply to the residents of Abuja; it will also reduce the rate at which we consume diesel to pump water, “ he said.
Bello said the project would reduce the cost of generating electricity and also contribute power to the national grid to improve supply within the nation`s capital.