Umon Island and Bagana Community in Nigeria Receive Electricity Supply from Solar
Mini Grid Facility
In Nigeria, about 50% of the population (estimated to be about 191 million people) are not
connected to the national electricity grid and majority of these people are located in the rural
areas. Umon Island and Bagana Community, both located in Biase Local Government Area of
Cross River State, southern Nigeria are among the numerous communities in Nigeria that are not
connected to the national electricity grid. The two communities are located in extremely difficult
terrain that makes them very unattractive for grid extension. They are surrounded by the water of
River Cross. Until this time, the community members rely on traditional energy sources such as
candles and kerosene lanterns for lighting. Those that can afford it, generate electricity from the
privately-owned petrol or diesel generators.
The Umon Island Mini grid Project is a 50 kW solar photovoltaic system that is supplying electricity
to two communities – Umon Island and Bagana Community with a total population estimated to
be about 5000 people. The facility will be serving a total of 253 houses in the two communities
which include three schools, two primary health care centres, six churches and local businesses.
The project is expected to boost commercial activities in the two communities and give them ready
access to information. The Project is being implemented to complement the Federal Government
policy of increasing access to electricity especially in rural areas to boost economic activities. The
technology is carbon neutral, thus helping to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases
Array of solar panels in Umon Island
Furthermore, the facility will help to minimize the use of unsustainable energy sources such as
the kerosene lamps, candles and fossil fuel bases private generators – estimated 80% of the
inhabitants of the two communities use petrol/diesel generators to generate electricity. It is also
expected to boost health care services and reduce rural-urban migration. The facility has since
commenced operation and the people of Umon Island and Bagana now enjoy electricity without
using private generators. As a way of preparing the communities ahead of the operation of the
mini grid, two workshops were organized at Umon Island by the Community Research and
Development Centre, the Project Developer to educate the community on energy efficiency and
conservation, safety tips on using electricity and on the productive use of electricity.
Installation of pre-paid meters in Umon Island
Before commencing activities in the communities, the Project Developer signed a memorandum
of understanding (MOU) with the leadership of both communities. Furthermore, before
connecting the individual households, end-user contract was signed with each customer. A total
of ninety-one (91) households representing about 50% of the total customers have been
connected as at the time of this report. Each customer was given a single-phase prepaid meter
with IC card to top up when credit is exhausted.
The people of Umon Island and Bagana Communities now enjoy electricity just like those living
in big cities. The electricity is not free; the tariff was determined using a financial modeling tool.
The preliminary study in the communities revealed that members are willing and able to pay for
the electricity. The Project is supported by the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) of
the GIZ and the European Union while the Community Research and Development Centre serves
as the Project Developer and Operator. The project was executed in collaboration with the Cross
River State Government.
Contact: Etiosa Uyigue, email@example.com