By G9ija

The Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba has described the Rural and Electrification Agency (REA) as a star Agency.

He submitted in his assessment, the Agency has performed satisfactorily and deserves commendation, having impacted several rural communities in all six geo-political zones.

The Minister, who expressed confidence in the competence of Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, urged him to remain focused on the assignment at hand because it will significantly impact the country positively.

Speaking with journalists, the Minister said, “For us to move forward in a sector as critical as this, we need reforms, and that is what this Agency has been doing.”

He further charged the Federal Government to encourage REA’s works and treat it as a star Agency with enormous potential.

“I just want to say to you that the Rural and Electrification Agency is my star Agency, it’s directly under my supervision and purview. I want to assure you that in all the six geopolitical zones of this country, we have had two projects in each state. There’s no community in any of the geo-political zones where we don’t have rural solar light intervention. We’ve had solar panels, we have mini-grids and all of that in all the zones.

“For me, that Agency is a star Agency, it is a high performing Agency. I don’t talk about individuals, I’m talking about the Agency itself and the outputs. All of us in this room come from communities, we are from different states here, but if you name your State, I will tell you which local government and which community we have impacted.

“I am convinced that the Agency has performed satisfactorily in my judgment. Your judgment may be superior to mine, but I know it is a star Agency that deserves special attention,” he said.

In terms of impact, the Minister admitted that REA is implementing one of the biggest electrification projects in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), with funding from the World Bank and the African Development Bank; over 5 million Nigerians are already benefiting from this programme.

Also, as part of efforts to catalyze off-grid electrification, the Agency, in the last 3 years, completed the 1st REF Call, delivering 12 solar hybrid mini-grids and over 19,000 solar home systems. Also, for the 2nd REF Call, projects are ongoing to deliver a total of 51 additional solar hybrid mini-grids.

Through its Energizing Education Programme, the REA, he added, has delivered solar hybrid power plants in seven Universities under the 1st phase of the programme. Developers are already on site to deliver on the task of powering 7 additional universities and 2 university teaching hospitals under phase 2 of the programme. Also, through stakeholders’ engagement, plans are underway to power eight additional federal universities and one university teaching hospital.

Another critical programme birthed during the COVID 19 pandemic, and activated through the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) is the Solar Power Naija programme. Through funding from the Central Bank of Nigeria, upon completion, the project will add 5 million additional renewable energy connections, impacting about 25 million Nigerians.