The Rural Electrification Agency, REA, is grappling with land acquisition across states in Nigeria to advance its rural electrification mandate.
Managing Director/CEO of REA, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad said it is important that the state governments support them in key areas such as fast-tracking land approvals, environmental and social approvals and other associated permits and approvals.
Ahmad, stated this at a recently hosted workshop by REA, with key stakeholders to strengthen the collaboration and sustainable acceleration of rural electrification.
“Assistance is also needed from the states for the provision of data of unserved and underserved communities within the states, creating an enabling environment for private sector developers and providing an interface between REA, the states and the developers towards ensuring the sustainability of projects in their states.” Ahmad added.
The two-day stakeholders workshop with state governments and their designated focal persons was organised by REA in partnership with the Africa Clean Energy – Technical Assistance Facility (ACE-TAF) and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
The workshop served as a platform for REA to convey its programmes and initiatives to the state governments and critical stakeholders at the workshop for a better understanding of its operations, and to achieve implementation sustainability and enhanced performance across all its programmes. It provided an avenue for REA to listen to the challenges faced by the states and offer solutions that are critical in advancing the course of the REA mandate and improving the energy sector.
Delivering the welcoming remarks at the workshop, the
Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, said he believed that a stakeholder engagement such as this, beyond helping to stimulate growth in critical sectors, ultimately enables the exchange of valuable ideas targeted at national development.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi through his representative, Dr Abdulateef Shittu, the Executive Director, Nigeria Governors Forum, commended the management of REA for living up to its mandate of expanding rural electricity access across the rural frontiers of the country. He said the states are committed to the success of rural electrification programmes and emphasised that the rural economy is central to the overall national economy which is predicated on effective and robust rural electrification scheme.
The Team Leader for Economic Development, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Gail Warrander said states have a critical role to play in developing policies and plans to support offgrid energy; through easy access to land for minigrids and simplified permits but also, they are best-placed to match potential locations for minigrid and stand-alone solar systems with households and businesses. “The United Kingdom is supporting the sector through the Africa Clean Energy – Technical Assistance Facility (ACE-TAF), and a £10 million ($12.2 million) facility to InfraCredit to de-risk insurance and pension funds invested in the sector, as well as other programmes.