South Korea has offered to help Nigeria develop nuclear energy options to address power generation supply and shortage in the country.
This was disclosed by the Ambassador of South Korea to Nigeria, Kim Young Choe, at an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Power, chaired by Senator Gabriel Suswam, on Thursday.
The committee had called for the meeting to clarify certain issues regarding the stand-alone solar mini-grids project which the South Korean government is gifting Nigeria and is valued at $12.4m.
According to Choe, the nuclear energy options currently being used in the United Arab Emirates are based on South Korea’s model and powered by South Korean companies. The ambassador further added that the project is a grant to Nigeria, not a loan.
Choe stated that all the four solar mini-grids would be sited in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, adding that the assembling, installation, and maintenance of the project will be handled by South Korean contractors.
The committee welcomed the gift, thanking the South Korean Government for its generosity. However, the lawmakers had a few reservations about the siting of the solar mini-grids in Abuja as revealed by the ambassador.
Suswam urged the South Korean Government to consider distributing, at least, two solar mini-grids each to the six geopolitical zones in the country, while leaving one for Abuja.
He further said that the $12.4m that was being proposed for four solar mini-grids in Abuja would be sufficient to build 12 grids, albeit with smaller capacity but with a far much greater impact across the country.
In his presentation at the session, Salihijo Ahmad, who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Rural Electrification Agency, stressed the need for the grids to be distributed across the country.
Ahmad also expressed concerns about the sustainability of the project since it is South-Korean Contractors that will be handling it, inquiring about the possibility of having Nigerian companies work on the project.
Responding to the committee’s recommendations, Choe, said their demands were difficult but he would forward the request to his government in Seoul.