REA-World Bank Mission Explores Benefits of Energizing Education Programme

* Seek Collaboration On Renewable Energy Opportunities In Borno Ahead of D.A.R.E.S. Roll-Out


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REA-World Bank Mission Explores Benefits of Energizing Education Programme


A high-level delegation from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the World Bank Mission today briefed the Executive Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum, on the benefits of the Energizing Education Programme (EEP Phase II) deployed at the University of Maiduguri, to which he expressed gratitude to the top management delegation from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the World Bank for prioritising project sites deployed to Borno State.

 

Professor Zulum, represented by the state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Usman Kadafur, received the delegation at Government House, Maiduguri. He emphasised the profound impact of renewable energy on citizens who had previously remained without access to electricity and highlighted ways the energy supply has alleviated their hardship. Apparently, the EEP project aligns with the state's commitment to sustainable energy development and ensuring reliable electricity supply.

 

He also underscored the state's policies to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy access in underserved communities, and foster economic growth through innovative energy solutions. He assured that the state government would prioritise the security of these projects and urged the university to maintain adequate safeguards.

 

 

The Deputy Governor also commended REA's Managing Director/CEO, Abba Abubakar Aliyu, and emphasised the importance of sustaining the collaboration between the World Bank and REA.

 

 

The REA's Managing Director/CEO, Abba Abubakar Aliyu, remarked on the significance of providing electricity to tertiary institutions. He noted that the second phase of the project, funded by the World Bank, aims to provide 12MW of power, benefiting 350,000 students and impacting over 50,000 staff, including non-academic staff. He highlighted the near completion of the Phase II project, which includes seven universities and two teaching hospitals.

 

 

He further stated that this is the World Bank's first visit, and their support has been crucial in making this project a reality. Due to their confidence in the REA's project implementation, the World Bank is providing an additional $750 million for the second phase of the program called the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES).

 

 

Mr. Ashish Khanna, World Bank Practice Manager for West Africa, expressed the World Bank's commitment to the Energizing Education Programme (EEP) and Nigeria's electrification. He emphasised the project's role in skill-building, job creation, and fostering innovation among students, especially female STEM students.

 

 

Olufemi Akinyelure, Head of the Nigeria Electrification Project, stated, "Our mission is to create a sustainable future for Nigeria’s educational institutions. The EEP Phase II underscores our dedication to leveraging renewable energy solutions to drive academic excellence and gender inclusion in STEM fields."

 

 

The delegation proceeded to the University of Maiduguri for the site inspection of the solar plant, where they were warmly received by the Vice-Chancellor. During the facility tour, Ashish Khanna, Practice Manager at the World Bank, met with 20 female STEM students trained under the program, highlighting the EEP's transformative impact.

 

 

This visit underscores the REA's dedication to advancing renewable energy solutions with a skilled and empowered workforce.

 

 

ABOUT THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION AGENCY

 

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is the Implementing Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the Federal Ministry of Power. It is tasked with electrifying unserved and underserved communities to catalyse economic growth and improve the quality of life for Nigerians. The Agency was established under part IX, Sections 88-89 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA), 2005.

 

The REA is currently implementing the Rural Electrification Fund (REF), Capital Projects, Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), Solar Power Naija (SPN), Energizing Education Programme (EEP), Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI), Energizing Agriculture Programme (EAP), Energy for All – Mass Rural Electrification and Research and Innovation Hub, Africa Mini-Grids Programme, Derisking Sustainable Off-Grid Lighting Solutions, and the Korean Energy Project.

 

The Agency is responsible for creating an enabling environment for private sector-led projects, which includes conducting feasibility assessments, energy audits, enumeration, data analysis, identification of qualified private sector developers, and project stakeholder engagements.

 

 

ABOUT ENERGIZING EDUCATION PROGRAMME (EEP PHASE II)

 

The Energizing Education Programme (EEP) is an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) implemented by the REA to deliver dedicated captive solar hybrid power systems to 37 Federal Universities and 7 University Teaching Hospitals nationwide. Phase I of the EEP has already been implemented, and Phase II, funded by the World Bank and nearing completion, will extend these benefits to additional institutions.

 

 

 

Phase II of the EEP will see the provision of solar hybrid power systems to 7 Federal Universities, namely:

 

1. University of Calabar & Teaching Hospital;

 

2. University of Abuja;

 

3. Nigerian Defence Academy;

 

4. Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state;

 

5. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta;

 

6. Federal University Gashua, Yobe;

 

7. University of Maiduguri, Borno state;

 

and 2 associated University Teaching Hospitals across Nigeria’s six geo-political zones.

 

 

 

This phase includes the installation of streetlights for improved security, the construction of a world-class renewable energy workshop and training center, and the upgrade of existing distribution infrastructure. Furthermore, the REA promotes gender inclusion by training twenty female STEM students from each beneficiary institution in solar PV system design and construction through the EEP STEM Internship Programme.

 

 

From: Enyi Ejike-Umunnabuike Jr, Maiduguri, Borno State


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ISSN 2354 - 4104


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