EEI : REA Tasks Power Developers To Step Up, Get Projects Back On Track

MD/CEO of REA, Engr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad 

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) , on Wednesday, March 24th summoned Private Power Developers under the Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) to a roundtable discussion over poor service delivery. 

Ayang Ogbe, REA's Director of Promotions, Information and Outreach in a statement at the end of the meeting, said that the agency acknowledged the challenges faced by the Developers, even as its reiterated the need for them to step up and deliver on their obligations as enshrined in their bilateral and tripartite agreements.

The meeting which held at the Corporate Headquarters of the agency and presided over by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad had epresentatives from Ariaria International Market Energy Solutions (AMES) Limited, Solad Integrated Power Solutions Limited, Rensource Energy Limited and Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited. 

On the objective of the meeting, REA maintained that it was aimed at identifying implementation gaps, improving service delivery and strengthening of the initiative to achieve the desired goal of providing constant and reliable electricity in economic clusters across the federation.

Recall that the EEI is a Federal Government initiative, implemented by REA with focus on electrifying economic clusters - which include markets, shopping plazas/complexes and industrial clusters. 

The REA is mandated to provide Technical Assistance to private project developers by identifying and auditing of economic clusters, facilitation of engagement with key stakeholders and technical support for project development and operation. 

According to the release, "Over 300 clusters have been identified for electrification across the country in different phases. So far, over 12,000 shops are now receiving clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity supply. 

At launch, the Pilot Phase of the Energizing Economies Initiative has commissioned the Sura Shopping Complex Independent Power Project in Lagos State powering 1,047 shops, as well as the Ariaria International Market (Independent Power Project), Aba, Abia State, powering over 4,000 shops. Also, launched were over 6,000 energized shops at Sabon Gari market, Kano State with more connections in the pipeline". 

In the course of discussions at the Roundtable, it was noted that the setbacks faced by the Private Developers as stated by their representatives include; technical and legal solutions to customer bypass, funding constraints, gas unavailability, power shortage and system collapse due to system capacity, inadequate provision of metering, electricity vending system issues and challenges with customer service delivery. 

REA however, emphasized that "some obligations are not being met by the Developers in view of the performance of their projects. In addition, some of these challenges are externally induced (such as gas aavailability constraints). However, many of these challenges are within the Developers control and they must do more to mitigate these and get their projects back on track". 

The Agency advised the Developers to strengthen their communication culture by proactively updating their customers on key information and/or technical issues in order to keep their stakeholders up-to-date, per time. 

While responding to the challenges raised by the Agency, the private developers agreed to step up towards ensuring the issues are addressed and services improved in all affected markets, while such efforts will further serve as mitigation measures in upcoming EEI projects. 
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