The Federal Government (FG) through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has officially launched the Africa Mini-grids Program (AMP), targeting over 70,063 direct project beneficiaries.
The four-year project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria.
A statement issued by Ayang Ogbe, Director of Promotions, REA, disclosed that out of the targeted beneficiaries, 34,559 are women.
According to the agency, the programme aims to support access to clean energy by increasing the financial viability, and promoting scaled-up commercial investment, in renewable energy mini-grids, with a focus on cost-reduction levers and innovative business models.
“The Africa Minigrids Program in Nigeria is designed as an enabler project of the REA’s Energising Agriculture Programme (EAP) which aims to advance one of REA’s strategic priorities of focusing on the unserved and underserved to increase economic opportunities through agriculture and productive sectors in rural communities across the country,” it said.
It further noted that the objective is in line with its mandate to catalyse economic growth and improve the quality of life for rural Nigerians.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Mohamed Yahya, the UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria was quoted to have said: “access to reliable, sustainable, affordable energy is a catalyst to socio-economic development, and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
He said by scaling up solutions such as renewable energy mini-grids,” we will be able to close the energy access gap and unlock opportunities for people in Nigeria and across the region.”
While commending the collaborative spirit of the Agency’s partners and stakeholders that enabled the activation of the programme, the Managing Director/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Engr Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, disclosed that the Africa Minigrids Program will serve as another catalyst for improved access to sustainable energy and equitable and inclusive impact on livelihoods by unlocking agricultural value addition opportunities from electrification.
He further added that “this sectoral approach is in line with the Agency’s focus on programmes to advance the electrification targets and broader social and economic development objectives of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The programme is active in 21 African Countries and the Nigeria national project implemented by the REA is the first to commence implementation following the official launch at an inception workshop hosted in collaboration with representatives from the UNDP, GEF, Federal Ministries of Power, Environment and Agriculture as well as other key stakeholders in the rural development space.
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FG targets 70,000 beneficiaries with launch of Africa mini-grids program