REA Says 80 Million Nigerians Lacking Access To Grid Electricity 

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Yemisi Izuora

The Rural Electricity Agency (REA), says about 80million Nigerians lack access to grid electricity in the country.

Mrs.Damilola Ogunbiyi,managing director of the agency disclosed this  yesterday at the Nigerian Off Grid Investment Opportunities Workshop organised by Energy Mix hub,a subsidiary of energy investment facilitation company,Energy Mix Limited.

She also revealed that Nigeria has the largest access deficit in the world,after India

According to her:”Up to 83.6percent of the population has access,while only 39.1percent of the rural population did. Levels of access to electricity also vary between the states. From close to universal access in Lagos to about 11percent in Taraba. Thirteen states have levels of access of below 40percent”

She also revealed that the nation’s access to electricity is still challenged because of inaccurate data from power distribution companies on the exact number of metered customers .

She added that  power distribution firms have conflicting figures from what the Nigerian Electricity  Regulatory Commission has.

According to her,access to electricity is also challenged because cost of grid extension is  greater than revenue achievable,especially  for small communities.

She said the years of violent conflict and forced displace of persons  have affected millions of people in the North-Eastern part of the country and denying them requisite access to electricity

“Insecurity  in the region makes planning and execution of capital projects difficult”, she added

She said her agency is current pushing for solar home systems  through which millions of Nigerians could have access to reliable light  and power from the private market .

She also said the agency has come up with mini grid regulation designed to accelerate electrified in areas without ant existing distribute grid and areas with an existing but poorly electrified or non-functiobal distribution grid .

She also said the World Bank’s investment in Nigeria’s off grid electricity market is the largest ever which would create huge opportunities for the private sector participants in the off grid power business.

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