Recently, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) reported that Nigeria has one of the largest markets for mini-grids in Africa, based on the country’s current number of operational mini-grids, which is over 100. This follows on the occasion of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the agency and the Africa Mini-Grid Developers Association (AMDA) that took place in the past few days in Abuja. The goal of the MoU is to encourage and accelerate the development of mini-grids in Nigeria.
The MoU will give more priority, among other things, to the exchange of knowledge, the development of capabilities, and improved sector cooperation. REA has a proven track record of successfully obtaining investment from the private sector, which is crucial given its role as a substantial contributor to Nigeria off-grid and renewable energy sectors. In addition to this, it makes cross-sector collaboration easier and, eventually, ensures the efficient rollout of suitable off-grid solutions across the country.
Energy access gap in the nation will be bridged.
For REA and AMDA to realise the agency’s goals regarding the electrification of rural communities, the MoU will serve as the foundation for a public-private partnership. Because of the energy access gap in the nation as a whole, there is still a considerable need for additional decentralised energy interventions to bridge the energy shortfall and stimulate socio-economic growth, specifically among rural underserved communities that are hard hit by energy poverty. This is especially true in rural areas with a lack of service providers.
Since the agency’s inception, it has worked to diversify its partnership portfolio and foster cooperative relationships with forward-thinking players across the off-grid energy value chain in order to realise the full potential of its Vision and Strategic Roadmap. The REA – AMDA partnership is an important step forward for the mini-grid industry in Nigeria as it highlights a shared dedication to research, data-driven decision-making, and the creation of solid industry standards, given AMDA’s central role and sustained influence in Africa’s renewable energy space.
A more enabling atmosphere is created with the partnership.
On the occasion when the MoU was signed, Olamide Niyi Afuye, Managing Director and CEO of the Africa Mini grid Developers Association, voiced optimism about the collaboration with REA. He stated that they wouldn’t be signing this MoU at the event if organisations such as the REA did not create an enabling atmosphere. He lauded the REA for its partnership with the private sector in the achievement of the key milestone in the expansion of the use of mini-grids across Nigeria.
Equally, it demonstrates the joint efforts of both the public and private sectors working together towards the common goal of providing clean, dependable, safe, and affordable electricity for everybody. This agreement is a positive development that could improve the lives of millions of people in Nigeria by facilitating the expansion of mini-grids. To help the mini-grid sector grow and become sustainable, AMDA is dedicated to collaborating with all relevant parties to establish an enabling environment.
Public and private sectors are brought together for a common goal.
Moreover, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, Managing Director and CEO of REA, at the signing of the MoU, said that the partnership and collaboration will strengthen its connection with AMDA underneath the Nigeria electrification project by bringing together the public and private sectors in pursuit of a common goal. The partnership between REA and AMDA, he said, will lead to fruitful collaboration, knowledge exchange, and shared experiences, all with the end goal of decentralising renewable energy while improving the lives and livelihoods of people who live in underserved communities.