By Etuka Sunday
Total Group has concluded plans to partner the Ministry of Power on it ongoing Pilot Project “Operation Light-Up Rural Nigeria” which Mr. President flagged-off on 13th January, 2014 in Durumi, Abuja.
The project according to the President was to be replicated in all the states of the federation.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo who received in audience a delegation from Total Nigeria, said the pilot scheme was geared towards the provision of solar powered energy by Government, to households, as well as street lights and energy hub centres to 3 communities that are far flung from the national grid.
“We are happy that children from these communities are no longer disenfranchised simply because they were born into these rural communities” he said.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press of the Ministry, Timothy Oyedeji said while commending Total Group for the initiative, the Minister said his Ministry was prepared to work on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would spell out all that are needed to be done in making the project affordable to Nigerians.
He said he would explore with his counterpart in the Ministry of Finance and other agencies of Government, ensuring Import Duty waivers, Tax breaks or any other incentive that would ensure maximum benefit accruable from the initiative.
The Minister expressed the hope that with corporate social responsibility projects like Total’s, more Nigerians who are far from being connected to the national grid, will have abundant access to energy through solar powered source. Earlier, Alain Champeau, the leader of the group had appealed to the Minister to use its technical ability, purchasing power and logistical capability in making the product available to Nigerians.
He said the “Access to Energy Initiative” of Total is geared towards making solar-powered energy available to people living in the local communities, just as he assured the Minister that capacity building and training of locals are ingredients already incorporated into the