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The federal government has urged state governments to accelerate the implementation of off-grid rural electrification projects to boost supply.
Speaking at the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Stakeholder Workshop in Abuja on the theme: “Collaborating with States for Accelerated Rural Electrification”, the State Minister for Energy Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba pointed out that it was impossible for the federal government to do much without the support of state governments.
“Recent events have demonstrated the need to focus on deploying more off-grid solutions to complement the federal government’s efforts to ensure a reliable supply of electricity across the country.
“To have national access to electricity, we need to focus on both improving the national grid and off-grid solutions.
“To grow an economy, stable electricity is a key factor that cannot be overstated. The Federal Government has equipped agencies such as the REA with the tools it needs to contribute its quota to ensure that all Nigerians have access to electricity.
“This workshop exemplifies our goal of building good relationships between the federal government and all states.
“Therefore, I encourage the REA and state governments to go further and jointly design and support programs that will boost the social and economic lives of people in rural communities,” the minister said.
Speaking earlier, Gail Warrander, Team Leader for Economic Development, UK FCDO, revealed that there are more people in Nigeria without access to electricity than in any other country in the world.
Warrander noted that to boost electricity supply in Nigeria, the federal government needs to address value added tax and import duty issues on electrical equipment.
She added that there is a need to increase income levels in the country and close the technology gap in the sector.
Also speaking, REA’s Managing Director, Engineer Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, noted that the agency wants to establish a strong collaborative relationship with state governments and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, because “every community deserves to have access to electricity”.
“To actualize the mandate of the REA, it is necessary to collaborate and partner with sub-national governments. Sub-national governments are closer to beneficiaries/communities, understand their particular needs and challenges, and are better placed to facilitate approvals and required support.
“The REA therefore proposes to partner with the States to implement its projects and programs. REA also proposes to work with the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, to develop a collaboration and partnership framework that will define institutional structures, roles and responsibilities, engagement mechanism and procedures, communication requirements and reporting guidelines,” he added.
The Tide source reports that for his part, the chairman of the board of directors of REA, Engr. Col. Abdulazeez Musa Yar’Adua (Rtd), said that “the agency’s aspiration is to see the livelihoods of people in rural communities improve significantly through access to electricity.
“There is a need for proper stakeholder coordination with States, to ensure that we are all working together towards the same goal of increasing energy access in line with the REA mandate.

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