REA seeks more private sector-led partnerships

With no less than US$1.9 trillion needed to fund Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan (ETP), the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has highlighted the need for more investment in the private sector to provide electricity across the country.

This is how the agency said it disbursed a total of $64.8 million to electrify up to five million people under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) out of more than 392 million commuted dollars for the project.

REA’s Managing Director, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, at a press conference in Abuja, said the agency has completed the installation of 67 mini-grids, NEP, which is funded by a $350 million loan from the World Bank and a $200 million loan from the African Development Bank. , (AfDB) with the aim of filling the country’s electricity deficit, currently estimated at around 80 million people.

Ahmad said the program is expected to provide reliable and clean off-grid power supply to 705,000 households, 90,000 micro, small and medium enterprises, 100 isolation and treatment centers and 400 primary health care centers in unprotected areas. served and underserved in the country.

Emphasizing the need for more investment in the private sector for the provision of public infrastructure, Ahmad explained that over the years, the REA has evolved from being merely an implementer of federal government projects in the sector to being a plate hub and catalyst for business in the sector.

He said deals signed with private developers have led to more than a million connections across the country.

According to him, “The REA has a mandate to take power from the unserved and underserved Nigerians. How it works there depends on where the funding comes from. According to the Rural Electrification Strategic Plan, we have targets to reach Nigerians all over the country and the current figures are estimated at 80 million people”.

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He noted that to achieve this a lot of funding was needed and “what we usually do is every year we wait and get the money from the government from the budget, go to the site and then put implement the projects. However, if you have to do this for the next 100 years, you will not be able to achieve these goals, so it has become important for the agency to ensure that its mandate ends with implementation”.

He explained that with the Rural Electrification Fund, which is a private sector initiative, REA has become a hub and catalyst to ensure that funding comes from different areas to enable it to fulfill its mandate.

“Now government money is used as a catalyst to attract private investment. For example, for the rural electrification fund, you have a capital grant where if a project costs 100 million naira, this grant will reach can – be 50-60% and the private developer will provide the rest of the money, provide the service to the community and enter into an agreement with the community for the rest of the money”.

Giving a breakdown of the NEP programme, Anita Otubu explained that the Nigeria electrification project has five components, including a solar hybrid mini-grid ($213 million), stand-alone solar home systems ($75 million), a energizing education program ($250 million), energy-efficient equipment. and productive use of devices ($20 million) and technical assistance ($37 million).

Otubu revealed that to date, 67 mini-grids have been completed with 995,396 solar home systems deployed.

Regarding the emissions saved through the various CIP projects, Otubu said: “At the moment, we have approximately 249,193 tonnes of emissions saved through the project. We have a total of 52 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity deployed thanks to the work of these products that we have mentioned. »