REA Woos Investors, Developers into Nigeria’s $9.2bn Rural Electrification Industry

Peter Uzoho

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has called on local and international investors and renewable energy projects developers to take advantage of the huge investment opportunities existing in the $9.2 billion rural electrification market in Nigeria.

Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund, REA, Hon. Doris Uboh, made the call in Lagos during an exclusive interview with THISDAY, on the sidelines of the 250 megawatts (mw) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between the agency and Husk Power Group.

She said the mantra of the REA under the current leadership was about scaling up and opening up more for transparency and for business to encourage more investors and developers to come into the rural electrification space in the country.

Uboh stated: “The REA is sitting on a gold mine, that means Nigeria is sitting on a gold mine. $9.2 billion worth of business not harnessed is enough reason for us to look towards REA. The only way to convince investors and developers is by collaborations like this one with Husk Power.

“We’ve been doing it in piecemeal, but that piecemeal is what generated this bigmeal, and we are hoping to have more of that. This is the only way. You have to take risk in business. You have to be able to scale up.

“You have to be able to look at and say, there is potential, and there is indeed, a lot of potential. And what we’ve done in the past is what generated what you are seeing today. So, we want more collaborations like.”

She specifically appealed to indigenous Nigerian investors and developers to replicate what their foreign counterparts are doing in the country by investing and participating in the profitable rural electrification market.

With the capacity existing in REA, the executive director pointed out that Nigeria could begin to close its huge energy access gap by promoting renewable energy, adding that renewable energy could complement the on-grid contributions with off-grid capacity.

“We’ve been talking about what the problems are for a very long time. Here we are with the solutions. So, we want more local developers to jump on the bandwagon and for more of this”, Uboh noted.

She explained that the agency was currently implementing the Distributed Access Through Renewable Energy Scale-Up (DARES) Project for Nigeria to increase access to electricity services for households and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with private sector led distributed renewable energy generation.

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