The Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, said the agency had initiated some emergency programmes to instal Solar Home Systems (SHS) and solar power mini grids at various COVID-19 isolation centres and other healthcare centres nationwide.
Salihijo said the action was a response to federal government’s directive to all agencies to support the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the Minister of Power, Engr. Saleh Mamman had directed the agency, as part of its support in stemming the tide of COVID-19, to embark on the action programme to provide SHS and solar mini-grid solutions in Primary Health Centres (PHC), COVID-19 isolation centres and the NCDC reference laboratories.
The REA boss assured that the agency will also work with the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to accelerate grant disbursement to qualifying developers of SHS and mining-grid projects under the ongoing Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).
He also promised to hasten the agency’s Rural Electrification Fund (REF) fund disbursement for ongoing projects and also engage the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Federal Ministry of Power for inclusion of energy access companies and off-grid power developers under the COVID-19 intervention funds of the apex bank. Harping on the importance of reliable electricity access, especially at this difficult time, the REA Managing Director maintained that the agency would continue to collaborate with stakeholders to complement the efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and other agencies to ensure that the pandemic is contained nationwide.