The South Korean government has pledged to donate $12.4 million for the construction of solar mini-grids in Nigeria.
Kim Young Choe, ambassador of South Korea to Nigeria, said this at an interactive session with the senate committee on power chaired by Gabriel Suswam, on Thursday.
The committee had called for the meeting to clarify certain issues regarding the stand-alone mini-grid project to be funded by the South Korean government and gifted to Nigeria.
The ambassador explained that the nuclear energy options currently used in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are based on South Korea’s model and powered by South Korean companies.
He said that Nigeria should also benefit from the same technology.
According to Choe, the solar mini-grid project valued at $12.4 million is a grant from his country to Nigeria and not a loan.
The envoy also confirmed that all the four mini-grids would be sited in Abuja with the construction and maintenance of the project to be handled by South Korean contractors.
While the committee welcomed the gift, the lawmakers expressed a few reservations about the decision of the South Korean government to have all the grids sited in Abuja.
Suswam urged the South Korean government to consider a spread that would leave Abuja with one grid and at least two in each of the six geopolitical zones.
In his presentation, Salihijo Ahmad, chief executive officer of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), supported the senate committee’s suggestion that the grids should be spread across the country.
He also expressed concerns about the sustainability of the project and the possibility of having Nigerian companies work on it.
Responding, Choe said the demand by the committee was a difficult one, but he would forward the request to his government in Seoul.