Rural Electrification: 47,540 women targeted, GEF, UNDP begin $2.9m off-grid lighting | Dailytrust

Rural Electrification: 47,540 women targeted, GEF, UNDP begin $2.9m off-grid lighting

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has kicked off a five-year rural electrification project.

Tagged, ‘Derisking sustainable off-grid lighting solution in Nigeria’, direct beneficiaries of the $2.9m project is estimated at 96,380 persons out of which 47,540 are expected to be women.

The Managing Director/CEO, REA, Engr. Ahmed Salihijo Ahmed; Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund (REF), Dr. Sanusi Ohiare; representative of the UNDP, Mohamad Yahya and the Project Manager, Dr. Bala Tyoden, signed the formalities of the project on Thursday in Abuja.

The partners said that the project was financed by GEF with $2.6m and supported by UNDP with $300,000.

In his welcome address, Engr. Ahmad, expressed the need for effective collaborations in achieving rural electrification project.

While commending the GEF and UNDP, he said that rural electrification is important to national development and urged the private sector boost collaborations in renewable energy in the country.

The Executive Director, REF, Dr. Sanusi Ohiare, said the objectives of the programme is such that it would have immense positive impacts on the socio-economic development of rural dwellers, tasking the Technical Working Groups to ensure the project succeeds.

The UNDP representative, Yahya, expressed optimism that the project will succeed considering the commitment of the partners and the zeal to achieve desired result.

Also, the Project manager, Dr. Bala Tyoden, said the project was designed to develop a private sector-led technology value-chain to make off-grid renewable energy technologies such as solar lanterns and solar home systems, available to rural households who may likely not be electrified until after 2025.

He said, “The main aim of the project is to promote private sector investment in sustainable off-grid lighting technologies by establishing a sound policy environment that facilitates the creation of a self-functioning and sustainable market in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, three components and outcomes have been developed to stimulate the uptake of off-grid decentralized solar technologies such as solar lanterns and Solar Home System (SHS) while UNDP’s de-risking approach would be adopted to as a catalyst for private sector investments in the off-grid rural energy market.

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