REA Confirms Ongoing Probe of Top Staff, Lists Achievements

REA Confirms Ongoing Probe of Top Staff, Lists Achievements

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) at the weekend confirmed the ongoing investigation of some of its top officials, stressing that over the past months, it had worked with the power ministry, lawmakers, anti-corruption agencies, and process organisations to initiate further reforms within the agency.

However, it stated that despite opposition to the housecleaning, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had also directed a thorough committee review of the relevant issues that had influenced the agency’s response to the situation.

“The agency can confirm that recent publications accurately reflect that some members of staff have been redeployed, suspended, or are under investigation due to process deficiencies and a prevalent lack of accountability.

“To keep it concise, the most significant change is the redeployment of the Director of the Funds and Accounts Department – a seconded officer from the Office of the Accountant General.

“The allegation levelled against the then director is undergoing investigation by the anti-graft authorities, including the core REA staff alleged to be involved.

“This marks a significant step forward, as it demonstrates the agency’s commitment to accountability,” a statement signed by the Director, in charge of Promotion and Information, Mallam Muntari Ibrahim, stated.

On assumption of office, the REA said its Chief Executive, Ahmad Salihijo, encountered a myriad of unresolved staff issues which he painstakingly began to sort out, with the hiring of a globally renowned organisational re-engineering firm.

Besides, it stated that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have now been introduced into the daily activities of the agency for each department, ensuring consistent and efficient practices.

Aside from the deployment of a robust monitoring and evaluation framework, the REA stated that Salihijo, among others, ensured the clearance of the backlog of overdue staff promotions.

The reorganisation, it said, has yielded fruit as from 2020 to date, REA has provided power to over 7.5 million people, including 1.5 million households, delivering 130 mini-grid projects, including 1.3 million standalone home systems.

In addition, it said the agency had equally deployed over 1,650km of solar streetlights, improving power, security, and economic growth in rural areas and completed 1,403 projects under the capital budget, delivering solar streetlights, mini-grid projects, standalone home systems, and grid extension works.

“REA has delivered over 500mw of power, electrified numerous communities, created 500,000 new jobs, and attracted over $2 billion in investments in the renewable energy sector over the past decade,” it stressed.

In advancing the achievements, the agency said it had established partnerships with the World Bank, and the African Development Bank, among several others.

“In 2022, as part of the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (NPRGS) Programme, REA secured an additional N4 billion in capital injection grants to provide clean power standalone home systems to over 50,000 locations, including rural homes, micro-businesses, schools, and faith-based institutions.

“Most recently, on the back of the success of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), REA negotiated and secured the advance approval of a $750 million facility with the World Bank to expand renewable and rural electrification initiatives, providing additional resources to Nigeria during a challenging period.

“In response to subsidy removal, REA is implementing interventions to develop electric mobility, mini-grids, distribute home systems, and deploy streetlights, potentially supporting up to 250,000 households in the coming year,” it noted.

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