AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Tuesday unveiled another phase of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) worth $200 million to provide electricity to over 500,000 people across 105,000 households.
The Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jeddy Agba at the launch in Abuja commended the AfDB for the partnership. Citing the success story of Rokota Mini Grid in Niger State, executed by REA with World Bank’s funding in 2019, Agba said, “If we could have many of those things done across the country, we could have a lot to show in a very short time.”
The Acting Vice President, Power Energy, Climate and Green growth Complex at AfDB, Wale Shonibare said 80 million Nigerians lack access to sustainable and affordable electricity. He said Nigeria needed to connect 500,000 to 800,000 households per year to achieve the electricity for all target by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs).
Shonibare said the African development finance institution will be providing the $200m fund for REA to service four components that will provide solar hybrid power for 250 sites, among others.
The Managing Director of REA, Ahmad Salihijo said over the past two years, the agency has intensified the provision of electricity across communities, adding that REA was capitalizing on private sector investments to ensure that the 80m people have access to power.
Salihijo explained the components of the project to include Solar Hybrid Mini Grids ($70m), Energy-Efficient Appliances for Productive Use ($20m), Phase Three of the Energizing Education Programme ($100m), and Technical Assistance and capacity building ($10m).
He said the NEP-AfDB will contribute to “more than 500,000 Nigerians in 105,000 households in off-grid or underserved communities, having access to electricity.”
The project also targets an increase of 76.5 megawatts (MW) power generation of which 68MW will be from solar generation alone. It will connect 20,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), avoid 1.69m tons of carbon dioxide emissions while tackling climate change.
Chairman of the REA Board, Umaru Maza Maza assured of support for the agency saying, “The board of REA will do all within its power to achieve its mandate as spelt in the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.”