Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) yesterday has hit a major milestone under its Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), funded by the World Bank, with the deployment of 103 solar mini-grids across Nigeria.
REA disclosed this in a statement, stressing that the achievement coincided with the hosting of the 10th mini-grid roundtable discussion, held virtually in conjunction with developers.
“The REA has successfully deployed 103 mini-grids across Nigeria under the Performance Based Grant (PBG) subcomponent of the NEP, signalling a crucial advancement in enhancing electricity access for households, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as public facilities in rural and underserved regions of Nigeria,” the REA stated.
Speaking during the event, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the agency, Ahmad Salihjo, expressed REA’s dedication to bridging the energy access gap in Nigeria.
“The REA was established with the mandate to increase access to electricity by bridging the energy access deficit in Nigeria.”
“Since inception, we have made significant progress in achieving this goal.
“The agency is implementing various electrification programmes – like the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) – targeted at creating lasting impacts by fostering economic growth, improving education, and enhancing the overall quality of life of Nigerians,” he added.
He explained that one of the key strategies that the REA was deploying to achieve the goal was the performance based grant sub-component of the programme.
“The PBG is a financing mechanism that provides grants to qualified developers to construct and operate mini-grids in rural communities. So far, the PBG has been very successful in attracting private sector investments in mini-grids,” he noted.
According to him, through the NEP, over 32,000 households, small businesses, public facilities have been connected and are currently providing clean and reliable electricity for the beneficiaries.
“The Solar Hybrid Mini-grid component has witnessed remarkable success, with a total of 46,661 verified connections made to households, MSMEs, and public facilities.
“Each connection is a step towards bridging the energy gap and fostering economic development. An additional 281,578 connections are in progress, poised to further expand the project’s impact and reach,” Salihijo noted.
As the REA continues its efforts, the successful deployment of 103 mini-grids, he said, stands as a testament to the project’s dedication to creating a brighter future for communities throughout Nigeria.
“We’re not stopping here. Our vision is to keep expanding, keep innovating, and keep bringing light to every corner of this nation,” he said.
In his remarks, Head of the REA Project Management Unit of the NEP, Abba Aliyu, expressed his satisfaction at the accomplishment, stating the connections would impact positively on underserved communities.
“We are thrilled to announce that we have successfully completed and commissioned 103 mini-grids as part of the NEP initiative. This achievement underscores our commitment to providing reliable and sustainable energy solutions to communities that have long been underserved,” he noted.
While emphasing the transformative nature of the projects, he stated that the goal has always been to empower communities with the power of electricity. “These 103 mini-grids represent brighter futures, improved livelihoods, and opportunities for growth,” he stressed.
The initiative, he said, has already positively impacted over 230,000 people across Nigeria, leading to positive changes in their daily routines, economic activities, and overall quality of life.
The statement added that the installation of 5.8 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity underscored REA’s commitment to harnessing renewable energy sources for sustainable power solutions.