• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Rural Electrification Agency implements N45.8bn projects in 3 years – Report

Stable and transparent policymaking is essential to reach Nigeria’s electrification targets

Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has executed 1,375 capital projects worth N45.89 billion between 2020 and 2022 across six geopolitical zones of the country.

This was contained in the report of the agency on strategic interventions for the year 2022 obtained by the newsmen. The report also showed that the agency lighted up Communities with 450MW power in three years.

According to the REA report on its strategic interventions for the year 2022, the Agency also lighted up Communities with 450MW Power in 3 years, where the impact assessment played a pivotal role in addressing challenges, such as inaccessible technology, electricity and water; gender inclusion; overreliance on petrol and diesel, among others.

“This assessment is important in improving the outcome and impact of future interventions. The electrification programmes, and projects alike, were a success, with wide acceptance in the beneficiary communities. Beneficiaries consisting of mainly farmers, households, women and youths were deeply impacted from a social, environmental, and economic standpoint,’’ the report said.

The Agency noted that in the last decade, REA has implemented over 2,000 electrification projects, impacting the lives of an estimated 5,000,000 Nigerians across the country.

The total installed capacity, under the capital projects, was estimated at over 600 MW-equivalent to over 1,000,000 connections, according to the report.

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The report noted that in 2022, six communities were equipped with a 100-kW solar mini-grid system. The systems were designed to prioritize productive users, including agro-processing businesses, homes, commercial users, as well as public spaces.

‘’Over 8,155 lives and 5,000 active farmers have been impacted with uninterrupted power supply and clean affordable water, translating to over 60 direct and indirect jobs created, improved security, increased productivity, improved healthcare, as well as the decommissioning of over 40 diesel and petrol gensets. Based on the current and future estimations, the reductions in carbon emissions were also encouraging,’’ the report said.

On the irrigation schemes, the report disclosed that 1,392 irrigation solar pumps were distributed across the six geopolitical zones, reaching 1,300 male and 92 female beneficiaries, as well as about 200 farm clusters. “Over 11,000 lives and 6,000 farmers (including about 810 female farmers) have been directly impacted. This impact has translated to the illumination of over 170 farms with Solar Street Lights (SSLs), the training of over 3,000 farmers on pump maintenance and new irrigation practices, and more importantly, costs (maintenance, fuel, etc.) savings. For the latter, the replacement of diesel-powered pumps with solar-powered pumps is expected to increase average revenues by N150,000 – N300,000,’’ the Agency reported.

The Agency also noted that 2,046 Solar Home Systems (SHS) were deployed across the six geopolitical zones, reaching and connecting 1,972 homes, 5 primary healthcare centres, 10 schools, 22 religious centres and 7 offices. It added that over 10,000 lives and 5,000 students have been directly impacted by uninterrupted electricity, translating to over 350 direct and indirect jobs created, improved healthcare, as well as improved trading and domestic activities among the women.

The report further revealed that key gender-based observations were that women in the beneficiary communities will have more access to technology, health and food quality/quantity.

“Over 3,000 women that are involved in trading, tailoring, braiding and other productive domestic activities are expected to increase their profit margin by at least 30% due to the improved lighting conditions from the SHS. The provision of solar pumps to farm clusters will also enable female farmers to increase their yields and profits,’’ the organisation said.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of these projects, the Agency noted that an implementation plan for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) procedures has been established.

The report said that it is expected that livelihoods, specifically in rural communities, will be impacted through programmes that provide electricity for productive use in healthcare centres, markets, schools, agriculture, etc., in a sustainable and impactful manner.

Going forward, the Agency intends to gather lessons learned from 2022 and implement projects better, leverage on successful projects to create more opportunities for the private sector, align with the private sector to pilot and scale viable projects and unlock private capital through public funding.