FG calls for private funding to close $2.5 bn electricity gap

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In its bid to provide access to electricity  for about 80 million Nigerians who do not have access to electricity, the Federal Government has called for more private sector funding to close an energy gap of $2.48 billion.

The Managing Director and CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, disclosed this on Saturday at a workshop for members of the House of Representatives by the agency in Abuja after it held a similar one for the Senate.

“India used to be the country with the highest people without access to electricity but I am sad to say that Nigeria has overtaken it and recently the figure is at 80m Nigerians without access to electricity,” he said.

While calling for budgetary allocation to the agency, he added: “It is very risky to rely on government budget as that is not enough. We need to device policies where we can get more private sector investments.”

Declaring the workshop opened, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the workshop was strategic and could not have come at a better time than this time.

Represented by the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Magaji Da’u Aliyu, the Speaker said with the workshop, the Members would do the needful and to consult with REA to ensure proper budgeting.

He said over N200m projects are uncompleted in the portfolio as he urged the REA to be better guided towards providing more access to rural electricity.

Also speaking at the workshop, represented by the Permanent Secretary , Chinyere Ohaa, the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba,  called for the lawmakers’ support to REA.

“Over 80 million Nigerians lack access to reliable electricity. To change this narrative, we must continue to strategically deploy renewable, off-grid technologies to power Nigeria, one community at a time.”

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