By G9ija

Rural Electrification Agency (REA) requires over $2 billion to provide electricity for the 80 million Nigerians, who lack it.

Its Managing Director, Mr.  Salihijo Ahmad who spoke at the REA-NASS workshop on Rural Electrification Programmes: Legislation, Implementation and Sustainability, in Abuja, said the agency has a funding gap of over $2 billion required to power 80 million Nigerians, who currently do not have access to electricity.

He sought a robust from budgeting in order to bridge the gap, noting that the agency has had a lot of appropriation support from 2016 to 2020.

He said the forum was to draw the attention of the lawmakers to the resources that the agency has so far received.

The REA chief said the workshop was to share the experiences of the agency with the Senators in or to have a greater impact by making the agency function better.

Most of the programmes of the agency, said Ahmad, are designed to encourage private sector participation.

He revealed that the agency has energised 13,000 shops, 12 communities, while it has designed Energized Education Fund for the 37 Federal Universities.

He also noted that the REA has set up the Rural Electrification Users Cooperative Society.

Speaking, the Minister of State, Power, Mr. Goddy Jeddy-Agba, said  the agency has been carrying out its mandates.

According to him, should REA get its required support, “I will not disappoint you, you will be proud of the agency and its mandate will be delivered as required.”

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan recalled that upon the privatisation of the power sector, there was a high hope that electricity supply would improve.