The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL) to boost collaboration between the private sector and government agencies towards the deployment of sustainable renewable energy access across the country.
The MoU signed at the corporate headquarters of REA is a result of the success of the recently held Solar Power Naija (SPN) investor matchmaking event.
Speaking at the MoU signing, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, the managing director and CEO of REA said that one of the best ways to mitigate the effects of subsidy removal in Nigeria is through the exploitation of opportunities to optimise the critical role of renewable energy.
He further expressed his delight about the REA and Oando partnership, saying that it will bring about mutually beneficial collaboration, knowledge exchange and experiences all targeted at achieving the common goal of optimising renewable energy.
“The REA has a history of ensuring whatever kind of financing is available to the REA. There are programmes and initiatives the REA implements that can be used to deliver impact across the nation,” Ahmad said.
As REA continues to play a key role in the nation’s off-grid, renewable energy space, it has maintained a strong history of drawing in private sector investment, facilitating inter-sectorial collaboration, and ultimately, aiding the implementation and delivery of fit-for-purpose off-grid solutions nationwide
According to a statement by the agency, the REA and Oando collaboration marks the beginning of another timely and strategic partnership targeted at exploring new approaches to clean energy development for socio-economic impact in post-subsidy Nigeria.
While commending the REA for its approach to understanding and leveraging the role of the private sector players to deliver on the task of sustainable energy access across the country, Alex Irune, the president and CEO of OCEL said that Oando is keen on renewable energy and are excited for this opportunity to create value that the country needs.
As a key player in the energy space, the Oando brand activated its clean energy subsidiary, Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL) in 2021.
Irune expressed his confidence in the collaboration with REA while explaining that what the agency has effectively done is to take the bull by the horn and de-risk investment opportunities.
“I would not be signing this MoU today if there was not the enabling environment provided by the REA. I commend the REA on their approaches, programmes and achievements over the years. These approaches are sustainable,” he said.
For Barka Sajou, the executive director, of technical services, REA, delivering sustainable energy access across the nation must go beyond just connections and rather serve as an enabler of growth in communities, while targeting electrification projects to people’s sources of livelihood.
Barbara Izilien, the head of the Solar Power Naija Programme, said that REA continues to deepen private sector engagements, targeted at drawing in funding, sustainably while expanding access across the nation.
“The intention for this collaboration is to encourage private sector investment to deploy sustainable renewable energy projects across the country,” she said.
“We are trying to grow the funding of the Solar Power Naija and this MoU signing will support the expansion targets of the REA in providing energy access to communities.”
The repositioned REA has, over the years, strengthened ties with key stakeholders in the private sector and the development space, the statement by the agency said.
“Beyond that, the Agency has realigned itself with the state governments through the Nigeria Governors Forum,” it said.
“In line with the mandate of the REA, the state governments continue to play a pivotal role in the Agency’s consistent deployment of people-centred electrification projects.”