REA Calls For Collaborative Effort Aims to Illuminate Nigeria’s Rural Areas with Solar Power

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IR-LThe EVC/CEO of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mr Khalil Halilu in a handshake with the Managing Director/CEO of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mr Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad after the meeting of the two chief executives on Friday, 15 September, 2023 in Abuja.

In a significant development for Nigeria’s quest to expand access to electricity in rural areas, Mr. Khalil Halilu, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), and Mr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, the Managing Director/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), have joined forces.

According to the statement,Their shared goal is to harness NASENI’s solar resources and renewable energy technologies to amplify electricity supply across Nigeria’s rural landscapes.This ambitious collaboration took shape during a pivotal meeting between the two chief executives in Abuja on Friday, September 15, 2023.

Mr. Khalil Halilu, who recently assumed office as NASENI’s CEO, made this visit to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) as part of his proactive engagement strategy with stakeholders, aiming to drive the adoption of NASENI’s cutting-edge technologies.During the meeting, Mr. Halilu emphasized the urgency of the endeavor, stating,

“Our focus is to hit the ground running by nurturing effective collaborations with the right stakeholders who will assist NASENI in fulfilling its mandate of providing the science and engineering infrastructure base for Nigeria’s businesses and economy to thrive.”

He further elaborated,“The strategy going forward for NASENI includes knocking on the doors of potential end-users of the Agency’s technology and engineering products, simplifying the off-take of our Research & Development (R&D) innovations, and ensuring a direct positive impact on the Nigerian economy.

“The commitment made by these two CEOs goes beyond mere words; they have pledged to work together to reduce the cost of solar power installation in rural areas.

This will involve efforts such as boosting local production of solar panels by NASENI. The ultimate objective, according to Ahmad Salihijo, REA’s MD, is to expedite the Federal Government’s ambitious plan to electrify Nigeria’s rural areas swiftly and efficiently.

Earlier on the same day, Mr. Khalil Halilu paid a visit to Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on a similar mission.

In this meeting, the two CEOs underscored the importance of fostering local content capacity, both in terms of human resources and materials, to drive economic transformation.Mr. Abdullahi shed light on NITDA’s successful strategy of focusing on both changing the mindsets and enhancing the skill sets of its staff, which enabled the agency to achieve a remarkable 62 percent of its goals and objectives within two years, ahead of its four-year projection.

He emphasized that a similar approach could prove effective for NASENI, provided there is a well-structured strategic plan and clear vision and goals in place. This exchange of ideas and best practices highlights the commitment of these agencies to strengthening Nigeria’s technological and economic landscape.

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