However, Kenneth Achugbu, managing director, REA, noted that tackling budget limitations remains a major issue with the paucity of funds posing a challenge to the plans of the agency.
REA has an estimated 2000 on-going rural electrification projects nationwide that are yet to be completed.
He revealed that the Federal Government was set to deal with funding gaps and provide the needed support to complete the abandoned projects under the supervision of the agency.
The agency was established in 2006 following the passage into law of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005, to carry out electrification in the rural areas of Nigeria both with grid and off-grid mode of electrification, but has been in limbo since 2009 following a N5.2 billion scam which rocked the agency.
President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Kenneth Achugbu to head the Rural Electrification Agenda (REA) in January 2012.
The REA boss said: “Life is back to the agency. We thank the President for this. We will now focus on transformation, improving the way we do things. REA has keyed into the transformation agenda to ensure that things move well in line with the plans of government. We are going to continue with the abandoned projects as soon as we are given the go ahead.
Every Nigerian is entitled to affordable electricity, especially in rural areas. Everywhere in Nigeria is entitled to be electrified, and so we are going to be making sure that within our budget provisions, our projects get back on track, we complete them and get them connected to the national grid. We also want to make sure that gradually, within budget limits, we execute our plans with utmost efficiency and prudency because funding is a major problem in Nigeria. We have many projects, but little funds to execute them.”
Achugbu, who spoke shortly after his induction as a fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), at a ceremony in Abuja, informed that the REA’s electrification projects which were abandoned for years across the country following its previous suspension, would receive speedy execution in line with the established mandate of the agency.