FG to close energy gap through Rural Electrification Agency– Minister

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The Federal Government says projects implemented through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) will go a long way in closing the energy gap and enlivening unserved and underserved Nigerians.

The Minister of State Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba, said this in Abuja on Thursday, at the 2023 REA’s Management and Board Retreat with the theme “Institutional Strengthening for Sustainable Development.

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Agba said that renewable energy was the quick solution to bridge the electricity gap in the nation, adding that was why the Federal Government planned to continue to optimize it.

“ While drawing in quality investments and private sector participation in the space, this administration’s efforts to improve energy access through on – and off-grid electrification solutions are commendable.

“We must not lose sight of Vision 30:30:30, aimed at raising the generation capacity to 30,000MW by 2030, of which 30 per cent will be from renewable sources.

“Already, we can see how pivotal this agency is to this vision and the critical roles it must continue to play in the global conversation on energy transition and off-grid electrification, ‘’he said.

According to him, REA is a fundamental agency in the power sector.

He said the Agency was tasked with such a critical mandate, there is a need to strengthen the pillars of service delivery continuously.

Jedy-Agba said that the agency was undertaking a series of reforms to enhance the workforce, improve the institutional systems, and pursue innovative programming strategies.

“I am delighted that the REA has consistently proven to be a forward-leaning agency, open to learning and continuous improvement.

“I am confident in the current REA management and Board. We all witness the positive effects of their leadership and dedication to the agency’s unprecedented growth and impact.

“Beyond the quality exchange of knowledge and optimization of expertise, a healthy and productive collaboration is desirable for an agency such as the REA, ‘’ he said.

Jedy-Agba said that after the retreat, the agency would be reinvigorated and repositioned for a more significant impact beyond its current scorecard.

On his part, Mr Mohammed Badamasuiy, the Acting Chairman of REA Board, said that the retreat was to acquaint the new staff of the agency with the rudiment of the public service.

Badamasuiy said that the intakes were exposed to the code of conduct and ethics of the service.

He said that the members of staff were also informed of the core mandate of the REA and what was expected of each of them towards the realization of the objectives of the agency.

“ The interactions were quite robust and will no doubt sharpen the horizon of the entire workforce going forward.

“ It is therefore hoped that at the end of this programme, the REA would have benefited from the experiences and know-how of the very skilled men and women gathered here,‘’ he said.

According to him, REA is an agency in a hurry to make a positive impact on its mandate, which is targeted at the rural population and the most vulnerable Nigerians.

“If we succeed, we would not only have achieved our mandate, but would have been able to impart on humanity and raise the living standards of Nigerians,‘’ he said.

Earlier, the Managing Director of REA, Mr Salihijo Ahmad, said that “under the guidance of Ministry of Power, the agency continues to deliver on its mandate through an array of impactful projects.”

Ahmad said that REA had done a lot of projects through quality strategic collaboration, robust research and development, using data driven decision making and investment on people and processes.

According to him, knowing the pivotal role the agency plays in national development, it is adamant in filling the country’s energy gap adding that there is the need for REA to continue to double its effort.

“Following the institutional assessment that we have had few years ago, we have been able to implement series of reforms to improve the agency’s service delivery.

“We are open to ideas and guidance, so that we will be able to ensure that what we have put down is realistic and implementable.

“Over the last three years, we have been able to energise healthcare systems, educational institutions, markets, medium size enterprises, agricultural clusters and a lot more within communities, ‘’ he said.

Ahmad commended participants at the retreat on their contributions at the technical session adding that a lot of progress was made in the thematic areas.

“We are hoping that these sessions would enlighten us in the operations of the agency as the way forward of those thematic areas would form part of the agency’s work plan for the 2023.

“With your support, we will continue to strengthen our agencies towards delivery a wide range of sustainable energy infrastructure across the country,‘’ he said.

The managing director also commended members of staff of the agency on the achievements recorded by the agency as they would not have been possible without their dedication and diligent to duty.

He urged the staff to build on the successes recorded in moving the agency into more positive light by been innovative and solution driven in delivering their duties.

 One of the beneficiaries of REA’s programmes, Nayo Tropical, presented farm products harvested from its farm through the connection to the agency’s mini-grid in Kebbi State.(NAN)

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