The Federal Government on Wednesday said it had identified 300 markets, shopping plazas/complexes and industrial clusters across the country for electrification under its Energising Economies Initiative.
It disclosed this through the Rural Electrification Agency at a roundtable meeting with EEI private power developers at the headquarters of the REA in Abuja.
The agency explained in a statement it issued in Abuja that the EEI was a Federal Government initiative being implemented by the REA.
“The focus of the EEI is to electrify economic clusters in Nigeria, which include markets, shopping plazas/complexes, and industrial clusters in line with the Federal Government’s goal of increasing electricity access,” it stated.
It noted that the REA was mandated to implement the initiative through technical assistance to private project developers and that this includes identification and audit of economic clusters, facilitation of engagement with key stakeholders, and technical support for project development and operation.
“Over 300 clusters have been identified for electrification across the country in different phases. So far, over 12,000 shops are now receiving clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity supply,” the REA stated.
It stated that the pilot phase of the Energising Economies Initiative saw the inauguration of 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 over 4,000 shops.
“Also, inaugurated were over 6,000 energised shops at Sabon Gari market, Kano State with more connections in the pipeline,” it stated.
The agency stated that discussions at the roundtable were centred on identifying implementation gaps, improving service delivery and strengthening of the initiative to achieve the goal of providing reliable electricity in economic clusters across the federation.
It said the EEI developers were sufficiently represented at the roundtable, with representatives from Ariaria International Market Energy Solutions Limited, Solad Integrated Power Solutions Limited, Rensource Energy Limited and Green Village Electricity Projects Limited.
It stated that in the course of discussions at the roundtable, the private developers outlined some setbacks hindering the efficient delivery of power to economic clusters.
The REA outlined the setbacks to include technical and legal solutions to customer bypass, funding constraints and gas unavailability.
Others include power shortage and system collapse due to system capacity, inadequate provision of metering, electricity vending system issues and challenges with customer service delivery.