The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) said, it has successfully completed and commissioned 103 mini-grids across the country as part of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), initiative.
REA said, the achievement coincided with the hosting of the 10th Mini Grid Roundtable discussion, held virtually Wednesday, in conjunction with developers.
TheFact Daily reports that NEP is a Federal Government initiative that seeks to bridge the energy access deficit by providing electricity to households, MSMEs, educational and healthcare facilities in unserved and underserved rural communities through the deployment of mini-grid and Solar Home Systems (SHS).
Funded by the World Bank, the NEP Initiative also aims to promote technologies and business models that are emerging in Nigeria and provide over 500,000 people with access to affordable sources of electricity.
Speaking during the 10th Mini-Grid Roundtable discussion, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo expressed the agency’s dedication 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 (NEP) – 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 added, “One of the key strategies that we are using to achieve this goal is the Performance Based Grant (PBG) 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.”
“The Solar Hybrid Mini-grid component has witnessed remarkable success, with a total of 46,661 verified connections made to households, MSMEs, and public facilities”,
The MD noted, “Each connection is a step towards bridging the energy gap and fostering economic development.” An additional 281,578 connections are in progress, poised to further expand the project’s impact and reach.
Abba Aliyu, the Head of the REA Project Management Unit of the NEP, expressed his satisfaction at the accomplishment, stating, “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.”
He emphasized the transformative nature of the projects, stating, “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.”
The initiative has already positively impacted over 230,000 people across Nigeria, leading to positive changes in their daily routines, economic activities, and overall quality of life. The installation of 5.8 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity underscores REA’s commitment to harnessing renewable energy sources for sustainable power solutions.
As the REA continues its efforts, the successful deployment of 103 mini-grids stands 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,” Ahmed Salihijo concluded. “Our vision is to keep expanding, keep innovating, and keep bringing light to every corner of this nation,” he added.