About 12,000 small and medium-sized businesses have been powered by off-grid renewable solutions across the country as part of the federal government’s Energy Savings Initiative (EEI).
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA), which implements the scheme, also revealed that 300 economic hubs are being identified for mini-grid solutions as part of measures to boost the economy of the country.
The Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) is an initiative of the Federal Government to electrify economic hubs in Nigeria – which include markets, shopping malls/complexes and industrial zones in line with the Government’s objective of increasing access to electricity.
Rural Electrification Agency Promotions Director Ayang Ogbe said, “More than 300 clusters have been identified for electrification across the country in different phases. So far, more than 12,000 stores now receive clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity supply.
According to him, the program had commissioned the Sura Shopping Complex Independent Power Project in Lagos State powering 1,047 shops, as well as the Ariaria International Market (Independent Power Project), Aba, Abia State. , powering more than 4,000 stores.
He further disclosed that more than 6,000 stores have been powered at the Sabon Gari market in Kano state with more connections underway, adding that local developers pushing the program forward include Ariaria International Market Energy Solutions ( AMES) Limited, Solad Integrated Power Solutions Limited, Rensource Energy Limited and Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited.
Some of the developers had previously decried difficulties in advancing the initiative to include technical and legal solutions to customer bypass, funding constraints, gas unavailability, electricity shortages and system collapse due to system capacity, inadequate supply of meters, power sales system issues and customer service delivery challenges.
Ogbe noted the need for promoters to meet their obligations as enshrined in their bilateral and tripartite agreements, adding that certain obligations were not being met by promoters given the performance of their projects.
“Furthermore, some of these challenges are externally induced (such as gas availability constraints). However, many of these challenges are within the developers’ control and they need to do more to mitigate them and get their projects back on track,” Ogbe said.
He also urged developers to strengthen their communication culture by proactively updating customers on key information and technical issues to keep their stakeholders informed.