ENERGY Infrastructure News & Reports Power

C’River, REA Partner for Mini-grid Electricity in Rural Communities 

Cross River State governor, Bassey Otu, has announced his administration’s readiness to provide the counterpart funding requirements for the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, to set up mini-grid power supply in rural communities in the state.

Cross River State governor, Bassey Otu (left), with the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, Mallam Abba Aliu, in Calabar

This move is aimed at boosting the nano and  micro-economies of the state and improving productivity levels, especially in the agricultural and rural communities.

Governor Otu, speaking during a courtesy visit by the REA management team, expressed his administration’s willingness to meet the 30 percent counterpart funding, which is necessary for attracting REA’s interventions.

The governor emphasised the importance of electricity supply in powering the rural economies to achieve energy and food security for the people of Cross River, while also lauding the REA team’s technical capacity and President Bola Tinubu’s administration for putting round pegs in round holes.

Governor Otu commended the REA for the 7-megawatt power project that will provide steady power supply for the University of Calabar and the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH.

He disclosed that Cross River energy law would soon be in place, and the state with an energy capacity of nearly 600 megawatts would be an exporter of energy to other states.

Earlier, the Managing Director of REA, Mallam Abba Aliu, explained that the agency promotes and coordinates electrification programmes and administers the Rural Electrification Fund to provide rural electrification through public and private sector participation in the country.

The REA boss revealed that agency has secured $750 million in funding, making it the world’s largest public sector off-grid funded project.

Aliu added that the state must provide 30percent counterpart funding for the agency to provide 70percent for projects located in a partner state, while the state will also provide land, which is a crucial requirement for citing any project in any state.

He also hinted on REA’s ‘Energy Agriculture Initiative,’ where solar mini-grids are provided to enhance agriculture; and assured the governor that the agency has marked Cross River as a flashpoint for various interventions.

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