REA’s unprecedented transformation under Salihijo Ahmad

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According to statistics available to the Nigerian NewsDirect, Rural Electrification Agency, (REA) under the leadership of Engr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad and his team led by the Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund, Rural Electrification Agency, Nigeria Dr. Sanusi Ohiare has recently witnessed unprecedented transformation in the bid to power majority of Nigerian rural dwellers.

In achieving this feat Salihijo disclosed recently that connecting over 80 million Nigerians to power sources “will require $2.2 billion, $235 million and $2.48 billion (about N942 billion) respectively.”

Ahmad, therefore, advocated for better funding for the agency to enable it reach over 80 million Nigerians that are without power supply.

He hinted that the federal government is concerned about the lack of access to electricity in the country, especially in our rural areas.

The Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency, (REA) was created by Electric Power Sector Reform Act in 2006.

The Agency exists to facilitate the provision of affordable power supply for residential, commercial, industrial, social activities in the urban, semi-urban,  and rural areas of the country.

Among the reasons for the creation of the Rural Electrification Agency was to administer the Rural Electrification fund (REF), anchored by the Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund, Rural Electrification Agency, Nigeria Dr. Sanusi Ohiare to promote support, provide rural electrification through public and private sector.

The mandate of the agency include; Mandate to provide reliable electricity to unserved, underserved areas across the country, provide access to reliable power supply for rural dwellers irrespective of where they live and what they do, promote rural electrification in the country, coordinate rural electrification programs in the country, administer the rural electrification fund.

With the foresight of his managing team, frontlined by Dr. Sanusi Ohiare, Engr. Salihijo who was on December 31st 2019 appointed as the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer of REA by President Muhammadu Buhari has within the record time delivered tremendously in keeping to the mission statement of the agency.

The REA has achieved over 99,000 connections, impacted over 450,000 people and created over 5,000 Jobs.

The Agency also successfully secured $550 million in funding for electrification projects across the country.

The Initiatives introduced by the REA under Engr. Ahmad are Solar Home systems, Data driven off-grid sector, Energizing Education programme, Energizing Economic initiative, capital projects among others.

The Electricity Users Cooperative Society (EUCS) was established to encourage all relevant stakeholders to work together to solve community electricity problems, Educate community members about energy conservation and efficiency, Ensure community members work together to protect electricity equipment against theft and vandalization and also to enable community members to learn about productive usage of Electricity.

One of the key initiatives implemented by the REA was the modernization yet transformation of the agency which include rebranding, developing a new website and significantly increasing its social media presence.

The REA premises have also been modernized resulting in increased staff productivity, sustainability, cost reduction and service delivery improvement.

As an expert in renewable energy, REA under Ahmad’s stewardship has kicked started and expected to implement several solar power projects across rural communities in Nigeria.