Nigeria Govt to drive rural power with renewable energy sources As Republic of Iran shares expertise with Power ministry
By Muyiwa Bamidele, Abuja
The Nigeria Minister of State Power, Mohammed Wakil has disclosed that accelerated rural electrification will henceforth be driven by renewable energy because of it sustainability and environmental friendliness.
Wakil made this disclosure at the opening of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA),held in his office today.
The minister said new approach to powering the rural area will involve a mix of wind, solar, biomass, hydro energy alongside the conventional source of power supply.
He explained that the renewed focus on rural electrification was fallout of the completion of the power sector privatization which he said made it imperative for the administration to focus on rural areas where close to seventy percent of the populace are residing.
‘’Now that privatization is completed and we are addressing the teething problems, associated with past-privatization, the administration is determined to focus on rural areas where we have close to seventy percent of our people. “As most of these areas are not connected to the national grid, renewable energy provides an alternative and this is what we have started doing’’.
‘’We have to provide for the majority of our people in the rural areas, in this regard, hence our focus on rural electrification through renewable energy. The Rural Electrification Agency is going to play crucial roles in this new focus and that is why it has to be repositioned to meet the aspirations of Mr. President and Nigerians in general’’, the Minister said.
Responding on behalf of the board, its chairman, Senator Jonathan Zwingina commended decisions of the minister to strengthen the agency to meet challenges of rural electrification through renewable energy sources.
In a related development the Iranian delegation led by its Minister for Industry and Mines, Mohammed Reza, pledged country readiness to share expertise that made Iran self sufficient with Nigeria.
The leader said that “we are here to help Nigeria, overcome the problem of insufficient electricity”, he said Iran has installed capacity of 70,000MW and has over the years provided for a yearly increase of 5,000MW annually.
The Minister of State, Hon. Mohammed Wakil responding commended the delegation for the visit inspite of the fact that their primary purpose in Nigeria is to attend joint commission’s meeting, but were still able to come and underscore the importance of the visit.
Wakil tasked the delegation to collaborate “in the provision of technical expertise, indeed all areas including power generation, through gas-turbine, coal, wind and other renewable as the impressive record of generating 70,000MW for a population of 74 million people is worthy of emulation”.