Lawmaker commends REA boss on post- subsidy removal initiatives
Says Tinubu needs more intelligent young Nigerians to renew hope
The lawmaker representing Ado/ Okpokwu/ Ogbadibo Federal Constituency, Philip Agbese (APC), has applauded the Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, for his post-subsidy removal initiatives.
Agbese said Salihijo’s exceptional leadership to fulfill the mandate of the REA has come to the fore since the President’s bold decision to do away with the subsidy regime.
Describing the agency as an implementing tool for improved energy access among the unserved and the underserved, Agbese said Salihijo has taken up the adoption of solar energy as the most viable solution to mitigate the hardship.
He further said the REA boss has provided sustainable and empowering solution for Nigeria to alleviate the burden of escalating fuel costs and ensure uninterrupted power supply to communities nationwide.
According to Agbese, the adoption of solar energy has expedited industrial activities, fostered agricultural growth, and bolstered small and medium enterprises.
The lawmaker listed the solar hybrid mini-grid project in Lavun Local Council, Niger State, the 60 KiloWatts Mini-Grid Project in Kilankwa Community, Abuja, Ayegbaju International Market Osun, Osogbo, Ijebu Ode, and Makoko among others as the recent REA projects.
Agbese said: “As a young Nigerian, I am proud of the exploits of the REA boss. He is a testament that there are still incredibly gifted young people in this country.
“The REA has adopted solar energy as a sustainable and empowering solution for Nigeria as the country grapples with the challenges resulting from the removal of fuel subsidies. By harnessing the abundant solar resources available in Nigeria, the Agency has alleviated the burden of escalating fuel costs and ensure uninterrupted power supply to communities nationwide.
“The current management approached the business of electrification differently, through a five-year strategy document that has strengthened the internal workings of the agency, improved its project delivery vehicles and activated new suite of programmes targeted at critical ecosystems such as the health sector, agriculture and education.
“The REA strategy has succeeded in positioning the agency for deeper-level impact on livelihoods while enabling the private sector to plug into it for the sustainable deployment of projects through a programmatic framework
“A cursory look at the available data shows that 67 mini-grids have been completed, 1,206, female-headed MSMEs have been electrified, 1,151 jobs have been created, and 267 grant agreements have been signed. These interconnected projects, aimed at improving small businesses for young Nigerians, are timely when youth unemployment stands at 53.40 per cent.
“No surprise the World Bank announced plans to commit the sum of $750 million through the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) to boost rural electrification and enable Nigerians to have better access to electricity. Salihijo is doing something right and must be supported.”
Agbese, therefore, called on state governments to partner with the REA to fulfill its mandate of providing electricity to Nigerians in unreached communities.
He noted that through the agency’s deliberate cooperation with key stakeholders in the nation’s off-grid space, it has greatly improved productive collaborations with private sector players and development partners over the years.
The lawmaker, however, urged President Bola Tinubu to appoint more competent young Nigerians like Salihijo to achieve his Renewed Hope agenda.
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