May 26, 2024

 Rural Electrification Agency powers 46,000 homes, and businesses in Nigeria with 103 mini-grids, 5.8 MW capacity

Engr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad and Elizabeth Huybens, World Bank's Director of Strategy and Operations in West and Central Africa recently while inspecting one of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) mini grid projects

Oredola Adeola

 

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has deployed 103 mini-grids and over 80 mini-grids with a total capacity of 5.8 MegaWatts completed and commissioned, powering 46,000 homes and businesses across the country, under the Performance Based Grant (PBG) subcomponent of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), which is funded by the World Bank.

 

 

Mr. Ahmed Salihijo, Managing Director of REA, made this remark in his presentation at the 10th Mini Grid Roundtable discussion, held virtually on Wednesday in Abuja in conjunction with some developers.

 

 

According to Salihijo, the deployment of the 103 mini-grids across Nigeria signaled a crucial advancement in enhancing electricity access for households, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as public facilities in rural and underserved regions of Nigeria.

 

 

He said, “The REA was established with the mandate to increase access to electricity by bridging the energy access deficit in Nigeria. Since its inception, we have made significant progress in achieving this goal.

 

The Agency, according to him, 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, the REA MD said, “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.

 

 

He further noted that the PBG has been very successful in attracting private sector investments in mini-grids, adding that 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 further revealed that 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 therefore noted that each connection is a step towards bridging the energy gap and fostering economic development, adding that an additional 281,578 connections are in progress, poised to further expand the project’s impact and reach.

 

 

Ahmed Salihijo concluded. “Our vision is to keep expanding, keep innovating, and keep bringing light to every corner of this nation.”

 

 

Abba Aliyu, the Head of the REA Project Management Unit of the NEP, the deployment of the 103 mini-grids as part of the NEP initiative, underscores the agency’s commitment to providing reliable and sustainable energy solutions to communities that have long been underserved.

 

 

He said, “Our goal has always been to empower communities with the power of electricity. These 103 mini-grids represent brighter futures, improved livelihoods, and growth opportunities.”

 

 

“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.