REA connects over 40,000 MSMEs to 103 mini-grids

THE Rural Electrification Agency (REA) said the electrification of 46,661 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will foster ease of doing business growth and provide opportunities for wealth creation.

The agency also said households and public facilities are also being electrified with a total of 103 mini-grids geared toward providing an enabling business and economic environment for them.

The Agency, in a statement issued on August 24, 2023, said 103 mini-grids were also being deployed across the country under the Performance Based Grant subcomponent of the Nigeria Electrification Project, funded by the World Bank.

This, it said, signalled a crucial advancement in enhancing electricity access for households, MSMEs, as well as public facilities in rural and underserved regions of Nigeria.

Speaking at a recent 10th Mini-Grid Roundtable discussion, which was held virtually, the Managing Director/Chief Executive, REA, Ahmad Salihijo, said the agency was dedicated 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, targeted at creating lasting impacts by fostering economic growth, improving education, and enhancing the overall quality of life of Nigerians,” he stated.

Highlighting the key strategy, he said, “One of the key strategies that we are using to achieve this goal is the Performance Based Grant sub-component. 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. Through the NEP, over 80 mini-grids have been completed and commissioned, connecting about 32,000 households, MSMEs, and public facilities, and providing clean and reliable electricity.”

Salihijo said the solar hybrid mini-grid component had witnessed remarkable success, “with a total of 46,661 verified connections made to households, MSMEs, and public facilities.”

He added, “Each connection is a step towards bridging the energy gap and fostering economic development.”

The REA boss stated that an additional 281,578 connections were in progress, as the agency was poised to further expand the project’s impact and reach.

The head of the REA Project Management Unit of the NEP, Abba Aliyu, while applauding the project said, “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.

“Our 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 explained that the initiative had positively impacted over 230,000 people across the country, leading to meaningful changes in their daily routines, economic activities, and overall quality of life.

    Aliyu said the installation of 5.8 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity underscored REA’s commitment to harnessing renewable energy sources for sustainable power solutions.

    Meanwhile, Salihijo stated that as the REA continued its efforts, the successful deployment of 103 mini-grids stood as a testament to the project’s dedication to creating a brighter and more electrified 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 stated.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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