President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday commissioned the Ariaria Market’s 9.5 megawatts (MW) capacity Independent Power Project, built by a private consortium under the Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to supply electricity to up to 47,000 shops and small businesses operating at the Ariaria International Market in Aba, Abia State.
The Ariaria IPP was funded, constructed and operated by Ariaria Market Energy Solutions Ltd (AMES) and consists of the following infrastructure–an independent clean gas-fired power plant, an extensive distribution network and metering systems for each shop.
Before the commissioning, the President noted that the market, which supplies its renowned ‘made in Aba’ products to countries along the West Africa coasts and Central Africa, had reportedly been challenged with the problem of inefficient electricity supply from the national grid, and this had often forced its occupants to rely on exorbitant alternative power sources.
He stated further that, “By providing a dedicated electricity supply to the traders and small businesses in this area, we are strengthening the made in Nigeria policy for which Abia and in particular, Aba and Ariaria are already well known.
On her part, the Managing Director/CEO of REA, Damilola Ogunbiyi, in her remarks, provided an overview of the project under the Energizing Economic Initiative (EEI) which she said was a Federal Government initiative to support rapid deployment of off grid electricity solutions to provide clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity to economic and business clusters like markets, shopping centers, and industrial zones across Nigeria through private sector developers. She expressed special thanks to the President, while appreciating the support of NERC, the Govt. of Abia state, the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, the AMELS team, the Ariaria Market Association & other supporters of the project.