President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, commissioned the 10 Megawatt Kano solar power project funded by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) with the sum of $16 million.

The president, who was excited about the project, expressed satisfaction with the quality of job done with the installation of the solar power plants.

He was accompanied on the commissioning by Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Zainab Ahmed; NSIA Board of Directors Chairman, Farouk Gumel; and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Aminu Umar-Sadiq.

Also in attendance are NSIA Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer, Kolawole Owodunni; non-Executive Director, Ali Goni Kadugum; Executive Director, Olubisi Makoju; and non-Executive Director, Kabir Suleman Oniyangi.

The NSIA was appointed by the president as funds and project manager with a specific mandate to conceptualise, develop, construct, and operationalise a 10MW solar project on a 24 hectare parcel of land in Kumbotso Local Government Area in Kano State.

Haske Solar Company Limited – the project vehicle whose name means light in the Hausa language – is jointly owned by the Federal Government, Kano State Government, and the host local government – Kumbotso.

The project is currently the largest grid-connected solar PV plant and is a proof of successful mid-sized solar PV deployment in Nigeria. 

NSIA managing director said the project would catalyse growth in the power sector as it shows that renewable projects of this magnitude can be successfully delivered. 

“The project also builds Nigeria’s credentials in the fight against climate change and our commitment to attaining net zero carbon emissions by 2060,” he said.

The NSIA boss said the 10MW Kano solar project offers significant socio-economic and environmental impacts.

In addition to providing access to clean, affordable, and sustainable energy to local industries and other consumers, Umar-Sadiq told newsmen it will increase industrial output by ensuring companies reach full capacity utilisation.

The project has provided about 2,000 direct and indirect jobs to the immediate community.

The plant has more than 21,000 solar PV panels, two 6MVA transformers and 52 inverters, a state-of-the-art warehouse and storage building, a control room building, office and workshop building among others, and was built by a consortium of Eauxwell Nigeria Limited, an indigenous local contractor, and their international partners – Greencells Energy Middle East and Africa Limited – on a turnkey basis.

He said: “This project will truly be transformative to the Challawa Industrial Area which is the industrial area within Kano metropolis. 

“We have heard extensive discussions in the course of developing this project and what was clear from speaking to the factories, the manufacturing plants and the facilities in that industrial cluster is it will enhance production efficiency, reduce production costs and in time begin to attract foreign direct investments into that cluster by essentially being the best place within this area cost wise to do business.”

He gave the cost of the project as $16 million, adding that NSIA took some steps to ensure it got value for money for the project.