REA to Electrify 300 Clusters Across Nigeria

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The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Director of Promotion, Mr. Ayang Ogbe, has disclosed that it has identified more than 300 clusters for electrification across to achieve the goal of providing constant electricity.

The agency said more than 12,000 shops were presently receiving clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity supply; adding that the agency is determined to achieve its goal of providing constant electricity to Nigerians.

In a statement signed by Mr. Ogbe and made available to the media in Abuja, the agency said it is mandated to implement the initiative through to private project developers.

“This includes identification and audit of economic clusters, facilitation of engagement with key stakeholders and technical support for project development and operation,” Mr. Ogbe stated.

The director said that the Sura Shopping Complex Independent Power Project in Lagos State was electrified at the inauguration of the pilot phase of the Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI); a electrification initiative that is implemented by REA.

He explained that the focus of the EEI is to electrify economic clusters in the country, including markets, shopping plazas/complexes and industrial clusters in line with the ’s goal of increasing public access to electricity.

According to Mr. Ogbe, the Sura complex with about 1,047 shops were powered. He further stated that over 4,000 shops in Ariaria International Market Independent Power Project of Aba, Abia State were electrified.

He also noted that more than  6,000 shops  at Sabon Gari market in Kano State were electrified.
He stated that more connections are ongoing as “deployment is currently ongoing in markets under Phase 1 of the EEI.”

“In 2019, a tripartite agreement between Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Green Village Electricity (GVE) and Wuse Market Association was signed for the development of one MW Interconnected Mini-grid.

“The phase 2 rollout plans are currently in view and conversations have begun between the developers, state governments and other key stakeholders.

“Surveys and energy audits are currently being conducted for 98 Markets across the country. The agency is also exploring ways to secure concessionary finance and to further support EEI developers.” he added.

Ogbe stated that that REA recently held a roundtable with EEI private power developers made up of representatives from Ariaria International Market Energy Solutions (AMES) Limited, Solad Integrated Power Solutions Limited, Rensource Energy Limited and Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited, to identify implementation gaps.

“At the forum, the setbacks faced by the private developers as stated by their representatives include technical and legal solutions to customer bypass, funding constraints, gas unavailability, power shortage and system collapse due to system capacity,

“Inadequate provision of metering, electricity vending system issues and challenges with customer delivery.

“The agency, while acknowledging the challenges faced by the developers, reiterated the need for them to deliver on their obligations as enshrined in their bilateral and tripartite agreements.

“REA emphasized that some obligations are not being met by the developers in view of the performance of their projects,” Mr. Ogbe said.

He noted that some of the challenges identified during the forum are externally induced such as gas availability constraints, but maintained that many of the challenges were within the developers’ control and that they must do more to mitigate them and get their projects back on track.

“The agency advised the developers to strengthen their communication culture by proactively updating their customers on key information and technical issues in order to keep their stakeholders up-to-date per time.

“The REA pointed out that it is currently conducting monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) on the EEI Markets. The output of the work will help inform us on how best to support the initiative as well as existing projects,” the director stated.

According to him, “While responding to the challenges raised by the agency (REA), the private developers agreed to step up toward ensuring the issues are addressed and services improved in all affected markets,
“They said such efforts will further serve as mitigation measures in upcoming EEI projects.”

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