Efforts by the federal government to improve power supply yesterday received a boost as the multi million naira Ibedu/Ibiako rural electrification projects in Akwa Ibom State was commissioned by the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Ishaku.
The project was executed with a Japanese grant of 574,000,000 Japanese Yen (N1.13 billion) and an additional N136.57m counterpart funding by the federal government, to complement the efforts of the Nigerian government in the execution of the on-going National Rural Electrification Programme (NREP).
The minister who commended the intervention of the Japanese government in complementing Nigeria’s efforts at electrifying the rural areas especially those in relatively difficult and inaccessible terrains which make their electrification via the national grid almost impossible, noted that the electrification of the Ibedu Ibiakot
clan will no doubt enhance the socio-economic activities of the 14 villages which make up the clan.
Rural communities in Nigeria according to the minister, are home towns to more than 70 per cent of the nation’s population, noting that the provision of electricity signals the commencement of the ‘actual integrated rural development’ inputs, such as portable water supply, healthcare delivery, provision of qualitative education and information dissemination among others.
In his remarks, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Shoji Riyochi, noted that power was key to giving hope and opportunities to people in their fight against poverty and in their pursuit of a healthy and cultural life.