THE Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for sustainable renewable energy access across the country.
REA in a statement on Wednesday June 14 said the agreement was signed at its corporate headquarters in Abuja.
The agreement, REA stated, was geared towards “boosting collaboration between the private sector and government agencies towards the deployment of sustainable renewable energy access across the country.”
The signing, according to the agency, was as a result of the success of the recently held SPN investor match-making event.
REA said that as it continues to play a key role in the nation’s off-grid, renewable energy space, it has maintained a strong history of drawing in private sector investment, facilitating inter-sectorial collaboration, and ultimately, aiding the implementation and delivery of fit-for-purpose off-grid solutions nationwide.
It added that the Oando brand, as a key player in the energy space, activated its clean energy subsidiary, Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL) in 2021.
The Managing Director/chief executive of the REA, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, explained at the event that one of the best ways to mitigate the effects of subsidy removal in Nigeria is through the exploitation of opportunities to optimize the critical role of renewable energy.
Ahmad expressed his delight about the REA–Oando partnership, saying that “it will bring about mutually beneficial collaboration, knowledge exchange and experiences all targeted at achieving the common goal of optimizing renewable energy.”
He added, “The REA has a history of ensuring whatever kind of financing is available to the REA. There are programmes and initiatives the REA implements that can be used to deliver impact across the nation.”
While commending the REA for its approach to understanding and leveraging the role of the private sector players to deliver on the task of sustainable energy access across the country, the president and CEO of Oando Clean Energy Limited, Dr. Alex Irune, stated that “Oando is keen on renewable energy and are excited for this opportunity to create value that the country needs.”
He expressed his confidence in the collaboration with REA while explaining, “What the REA has effectively done is to take the bull by the horn and derisk investment opportunities. I wouldn’t be signing this MoU today if there wasn’t an enabling environment provided by the REA.
“I commend the REA on its approaches, programmes, and achievements over the years. These approaches are sustainable.”
The Executive Director, Technical Services at the REA, Barka Sajou, while explaining the agency’s shift in paradigm on the delivery of fit-for-purpose electrification projects, stressed that “delivering on sustainable energy access across the nation must go beyond just connections but should rather serve as an enabler of growth in communities, while targeting electrification projects to people’s sources of livelihood.”
The Head of the Solar Power Naija Programme, Barbara Izilien, promised that the agency would continue to deepen private sector engagements targeted at drawing in funding sustainably while expanding access across the nation.
Izilien stated, “The intention for this collaboration is to encourage private sector investment to deploy sustainable renewable energy projects across the country.
“We are trying to grow the funding of the Solar Power Naija and this MoU signing will support the expansion targets of the REA in providing energy access to communities.
“In line with the mandate of the REA, the state governments continue to play a pivotal role in the agency’s consistent deployment of people-centered electrification projects.”
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.