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REA seeks review of power reform Act for sustainable funding of rural electrification

The Rural Electrification agency,REA is seeking the review of the electricity power sector reform act to facilitate sustainable funding for the sector, which would also enable power access for about 83 million off grid electricity consumers in Nigeria.

Ahmed Salihijo, the Managing director of the Rural Electrification Agency, made this known at the Rural electrification agency-National Assembly Workshop held on Saturday in Abuja.

The workshop held for National Assembly members was geared towards improved legislative processes,project selection and impact of appropriated funds,as well as relevance of projects to the socio-economic realities of the targeted communities.

It would be noted that Part 9, section 88 number 9 of the Electric Power Sector Reforms Act states that the rural electrification agency was created for the expansion of Grid, the development of isolated and mini-grid system and renewable energy power generation.

The Act enabled the Rural Electrification Agency in implementing the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP), Engineering Economic Initiative (EE), Engineering Education Programme (EEP), Rural Electrification Fund (REF), Energy Data Base and Capital Projects.

Salihijo at the workshop said the REA provides pathway for sustainable electricity in the country for off grid rural dwellers,in order to enhance their economic opportunities. He observed however, that sustainable electricity access can only be enabled by sustainable funding.

“We want to end energy poverty in Nigeria and enable the sustainable development goal number seven which is about about affordable,clean and sustainable energy for all.”

Also speaking,Sanusi Ohiare, the Managing director of the Rural Electrification Fund said sustainable sources of funding for the agency would help in closing undeserved and unserved Nigerians not connected to the on grid electricity.

Ohiare said,”The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC is supposed to determine by the end of the year what all the licencees and the eligible customers were supposed to pay to rural electrification fund to drive rural electrification, but they’re yet to do. Mostly they complain of liquidity concerns in the power sector.”

In his remarks,the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila represented by Magaji Dawu Aliyu,the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on power assured that the National Assembly would look into the concerns raised by the agency to ensure coverage of unserved and underserve Nigerians not connected to the grid.

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