By SUNDAY ABAH, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) through the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, says it has officially handed over 14 × 50KW solar hybrid containerised systems each to 14 Isolation and Treatment Centres, ITCs, in the South-South region of Nigeria.
A statement from the agency yesterday explained that the development is part of the “COVID-19 and Beyond” Intervention of the federal government, a component under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) aimed at energising health facilities and improving healthcare services across the country.
The handover of the containerised systems held simultaneously from the 17th to 25th of May, 2023, in 14 different hospitals across 6 States in the South-South: Rivers, Calabar, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Edo and Bayelsa States.
Being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency with funding from the World Bank, the installation of these solar hybrid systems marks a major step towards closing the energy gap in the healthcare sector. This initiative is designed to not only benefit the various, active COVID-19 centres across the country but is also to impact on the entire healthcare system beyond the pandemic, the statement explained.
Speaking on the impact of the interventions, REA’s MD/CEO, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, expressed his delight on the completion of the projects, adding “in Nigeria and across the world, there is a nexus between quality healthcare delivery services and sustainable energy and the Nigerian government is exploring this nexus through the delivery of impactful, renewable energy projects”.
While on a tour of some of the facilities with the NEP team, the Head, Project Management Unit of the Programme, Abba Aliyu, commended the Chief Medical Directors and members of the Hospital management for collaborating with the REA to deliver on impactful projects.
Appreciating the REA’s role in implementing these projects, the Chief Medical Directors, members of the COVID-19 response team and other critical staff members across all the beneficiary institutions all shared their individual experiences on the critical role of clean, sustainable energy in healthcare delivery and how the interventions has greatly improved their services and response time.
According to the statement, 50 of the 100 containerised solar hybrid systems earmarked for the ITCs across the nation have already been completed. An additional 400 primary healthcare centres will equally be sufficiently energised under this programme.
The Rural Electrification Agency is the Implementing Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria tasked with electrification of rural, unserved, and underserved communities.