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EEI: REA summons power providers after ICIR’s report, tasks operators on efficient service delivery

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THE Rural Electrification Agency (REA) on Wednesday summoned the private power developers involved in implementing the Energising Economies Initiative (EEI) of the Federal Government over failings of the power project in some parts of the country.  

Some of the firms include Ariaria International Market Energy Solutions (AMES) Limited, Solad Integrated Power Solutions Limited, Rensource Energy Limited and Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited.

According to a press statement sent to The ICIR by the REA Director of Promotions Ayang Ogbe, the firms were invited to a roundtable meeting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to proffer solutions to challenges expressed by the supposed beneficiaries (Small and Medium Scale Enterprises) across the various markets.

This is coming about two weeks after The ICIR’s report exposing alleged extortions, inefficiency, and how the power project has rather frustrated activities of some of the small businesses it was meant to support through cheap, stable, and efficient power.

The ICIR in the three-part series uncovered how the energy project failed to power SMEs in Iponri market, Lagos, Ariaria Market in Aba, Abia State, and other challenges in Abubakar Rimi Market (Sabon Gari Market), in Kano State.

While the power providers also highlighted the challenges preventing them from delivering on their commitments, the ERA emphasised the need to overcome the hurdles to fulfill their part of the bargain for the public good.

The challenges itemised by the private developers include technical and legal solutions to customer bypass, funding constraints, gas unavailability, power shortage, and system collapse due to system capacity.

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They listed inadequate provision of metering, electricity vending system issues, and challenges with customer service delivery as other notable problems.

“You need to deliver on your obligations as enshrined in their bilateral and tripartite agreements,” the statement said.

According to the statement, “some obligations are not being met by the developers in view of the performance of their projects. In addition, some of these challenges are externally induced (such as gas availability constraints). However, many of these challenges are within the developers control and they must do more to mitigate these and get their projects back on track.”

REA advised the developers to strengthen effective communication with the SMEs.

The EEI is a Federal Government initiative being implemented by the REA. The focus of the EEI is to electrify economic clusters in Nigeria – which include markets, shopping plazas/complexes, and industrial clusters in line with the FGN’s goal of increasing electricity access.

The REA is mandated to implement the initiative through Technical Assistance to private project developers; this includes identification and audit of economic clusters, facilitation of engagement with key stakeholders, and technical support for project development and operation.

“Over 300 clusters have been identified for electrification across the country in different phases. So far, over 12,000 shops are now receiving clean, safe, reliable, and affordable electricity supply.”

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Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at oadanikin@icirnigeria.org. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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