Photograph — ISG

The European Union (EU) has earmarked 10 million Euros to finance a program that will provide solar energy to some health facilities in Adamawa State, Nigeria. The disclosure was made by the EU Head of Cooperation, Kurt Cornelis, during the launch of the initiative in Yola on Friday.

The project, which is a multilateral partnership between the EU, Adamawa State government and the Department for International Development (DFID), will see the European body provide “access to sustainable energy to power hospitals that are off the grid in the state.”

According to Cornelis, the project, Solar Nigeria, is not new and has “proven to be successful in its first and second phases in Lagos State and in Kaduna State, which was fully funded by DFID.” Cornelis added that “The EU is scaling this project now by committing 30 Million Euros to support Kano, Kaduna and Adamawa states and (an) additional 7.5 million Euros in Borno.”

Of the overall project budget, 10 million euros will be invested in Adamawa where eight health facilities across the state will get sustainable energy using solar PV. These, according to the EU official, include five General Hospitals, one tertiary health institution, and two primary healthcare centres.

The EU-funded project is aimed at ameliorating the challenges being experienced in the Nigerian health sector. The challenges, particularly lack of adequate power supply, have often time been associated with Distribution Companies (Discos) controlling the state, Nairametrics reports. Thus, deploying solar energy investments in the state will not just revamp the major challenge that has cost lives in the health sector, but will boost productivity and efficiency of health facilities.

Lauding the EU for the prompt interventions, State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, noted that the project would bring relief to communities ravaged by the insurgency in the northern part of the state. More so, Fintiri urged for extension of such support to communities affected by farmers/herders conflicts in the southern zone of the state, while he assured government support for the success of the project.

The funding from the European Union is just one of the many recent humanitarian and development support the body has extended to Nigeria in areas such as energy, education, health, refugee management, and across several states. 

Very recently, the EU injected 20 million Euros for the provision of immediate education services and strengthening of the sector in Borno State, Nigeria. The Press Officer of EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Modestus Chukwulaka, said in a press statement late last month, that more than 150,000 children and 2,500 teachers would benefit directly from the two new EU-funded projects.

Chukwulaka further explained that the fund earmarked by the bloc through its 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for the projects, would expand and deepen the already extensive EU humanitarian and development assistance to the many victims of violence and displacement in Nigeria’s North East.

Also through the 11th EDF, the EU on June 18 inaugurated projects valued at 26 million Euros for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable groups in Yobe State, Nigeria. The initiatives, which were aimed at strengthening the recovery and resilience of IDPs and other vulnerable groups in the state, would reportedly benefit over 53,000 households directly.

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