REA EMBARKS ON NATIONWIDE SENSITIZATION ON SUSTAINABILITY (OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE) OF REA PROJECTS, AND SIGNS MoU ON O&M WITH OBUDU RANCH COMMUNITY
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) recently embarked on sensitization exercise to cement its commitment towards standardized project deployment, operation and maintenance, aimed at sustainability of rural electrification projects. This is in compliance with the recent directive by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to all MDAs to create a sustainability plan for all Government funded projects.
This exercise targeted communities where REA’s capital projects solar mini-grids are deployed across the country in order to ascertain the status of the project and assess possibility of expansion bearing in mind its business potentiality and viability when a private developer eventually partners with the community to operate and maintain the project through a Sustainable business model that will be beneficial to all parties. Also, the exercise accorded the team with the opportunity to educate the project beneficiaries on the importance and need to form Rural Electricity Users Cooperative Society (REUCS), an REA model for ensuring the buy-in of the communities.
Following series of engagements with the Obudu Ranch Communities in Cross River State, the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Monday, 2nd August, 2021, at REA CHQ between a private developer (Cloud Energy LTD), the benefiting community (through their REUCS representatives) and REA, aimed at expansion, operation and maintenance (O&M only) of the deployed 60KWp solar hybrid mini- grid plant in the community by the private developer in compliance with an agreed most cost effective financial model.
This exercise which is in phases has so far impacted 19 communities in 14 states across the country. As a result, the communities are better educated on REA’s rural electrification mission, efficient uses of deployed solar mini-grid electricity, as well as how to handle electricity matters in their communities.
Furthermore, as the Agency continues to power rural areas one community at a time, it is expected that the exercise will continue for all Capital Projects solar mini- grids deployed across the country where more MoU agreements will be signed for all the visited and economically viable communities in due course.