A new solar power scheme in Nigeria is all set to provide electricity to as many as 10 rural communities, which have no access to the national electrical grid.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Lagos state government official revealed that construction work related to the project has started, and that contractors were expected to start delivering them around mid to late January next year.
The new scheme is likely to benefit 5,000 people living in villages in the Badagry, Epe, Eredo and Ojo local government regions.
About 1.25 million dollars will be spent on the project, being funded by the State Ministry of Science and Technology.
The Dynamic Treasure Chest Company, Hafas Enterprises and Impasse Technologies are the contractors for the solar power initiative.
In May, a pilot project was started at the fishing village on Bishop Kodji Islanda low island of about 5,000 people between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lagos lagoon.
It provided power to the churches, mosques and schools. Besides, it also led to the introduction of television in the village Community Hall.
The solar panels used for the project also treat water and pump it from a storage tank.
"The lifespan of the panel is 30 years according to the manufacturer. Also there is little or no maintenance: all the villagers need is to clean dust from the panels. The deep gel battery will last for 10 years," the Environmental News Network quoted Adenike Boyo, director of science and technology at the Directorate of Policy, Programmes and Promotion, as telling SciDev.Net.
Though the equipment was manufactured abroad, it was being assembled locally, she said.
Solar energy is also being utilised to power streetlights and other ancillary services in Imo, another state in eastern Nigeria.
Steve Osuji, a spokesman for the State Government, said that the innovation was coming under the current administration's 'Clean and Green Initiative', whereby Owerri city and other major towns in the state were being given a facelift.
A similar project was launched in 2002 with assistance from the Japanese government, and it has lit 200 rural communities in Imo, Ondo and Jigawa states as well as the capital Abuja.