Image: US Chamber of Commerce
In efforts to address power shortages at the Ariaria International Market in Aba, Abia State, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned a 9.5 MW gas power plant to be built by a consortium of private companies.
The independent power plant forms part of the Energizing Economies Initiative of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), which aims to electrify up to 47,000 shops and small businesses operating in the market.
“Reliable power supply is critical to [improve the] ease of doing business to ensure sustainability and improvement. I am told that before this intervention, traders in this market only got power for four hours a day and pay exorbitantly for it, which constantly affects the viability of many businesses. This is the sad thing we inherited, and which we are replacing with this power supply, which is cleaner and better,”president Buhari said.
The president added that by providing reliable power supply to the market, the government is contributing to the promotion of local production and Nigeria’s self sufficiency.
Managing Director of the REA, Damilola Ogunbiyi, said of the 37,000 shops in the market; 4,000 have been connected to the new power system and the remaining shops will be powered within the year.
The off grid power plant has been grated a regulatory license by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.