Rep member lauds REA boss on post-subsidy removal initiatives

The lawmaker representing Ado/ Okpokwu/ Ogbadibo Federal Constituency in Benue State, Hon. Philip Agbese, has applauded the Managing Director (MD) of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Engr Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, for his post-subsidy removal initiatives.

Agbese said Salihijo’s exceptional leadership to fulfil the mandate of the REA has come to the fore since President Bola Tinubu’s bold decision to do away with the subsidy regime.

He described the REA as an implementing tool for improved energy access among the unserved and the underserved. 

He added that Engr. Ahmad had adopted solar energy as the most viable solution to mitigate the hardship.

He further said the REA boss had provided sustainable and empowering solutions for Nigeria to alleviate the burden of escalating fuel costs and ensure uninterrupted power supply to communities nationwide.

According to Agbese, adopting 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 Government Area of 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.

His words:

“As a young Nigerian, I am proud of the exploits of the REA boss. He is a testament that this country still has incredibly gifted young people.

“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 ensured uninterrupted power supply to communities nationwide.

“The current management approached the electrification business differently, through a five-year strategy document that has strengthened the agency’s internal workings.

“This strategy has improved the agency’s project delivery vehicles and activated new programmes targeted at critical ecosystems such as the health sector, agriculture and education.

“It has also positioned 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 $750 million through the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) to boost rural electrification and give Nigerians 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 fulfil its mandate of providing electricity to Nigerians in unreached communities.

The lawmaker urged President Bola Tinubu to appoint more competent young Nigerians like Salihijo to achieve his Renewed Hope agenda.