Photo: Gov Lalong in a group photo with the REA MD and management during the visit
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has requested the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to deploy Solar Energy Mini-Grid to the Federal Polytechnic, Shendam and for the electrification of more rural communities in the state.
The Governor made the request when he visited and met with REA’s Managing Director, Engr. Ahmad Salihijo and his management team at the agency’s head office in Abuja.
He said his visit to the REA was to make a passionate appeal for a Solar Mini-Grid Deployment to Ajikamai, the community hosting the newly established Federal Polytechnic Shendam.
According to him, with the takeoff of the new institution, lack of electricity in the host community is a major challenge because the area is not connected to the national grid.
Lalong commended the agency for carrying out the 234 KWp Shimankar solar mini grid which he said had become a successful venture by its lighting up of the surrounding communities and improving the lives of the people.
He further said that the Plateau State energy sector was undergoing reforms with the establishment of the Plateau State Energy Corporation.
The governor said that the corporation was being positioned for synergy and policy implementation and craved the assistance of REA in equipment supply and technical capacity building for it.
“Specifically, we shall appreciate if the REA program through the World Bank/Central Bank CARES initiative can be extended to the newly established Plateau State Energy Corporation.
“This will serve as an urgent intervention and means to enable the state government’s desire to deliver power to the polytechnic and surrounding communities through the off-grid energy approach,” the governor said.
Lalong also urged the agency to partner with the Plateau State Government in expanding NESCO’S power generation capacity both in the existing hydro or exploring other renewables.
Responding, the Managing Director appreciated the governor for the visit and assured him that the agency would be captured under various ongoing programs.
He disclosed that the agency had already slated intervention programs in 3 markets in Jos, namely: Building Materials, Rukuba Market and Katako.
Salihijo said that Plateau State was expected to benefit from the Solar Power Naija program which was already slated for five communities, in addition to the already implemented 5KW Health Centre projects in five primary healthcare centres in the State under COVID-19.
He appealed to the governor to nominate a state focal person who would liaise with the REA in carrying out some of the requests presented to the agency, Simon Macham, the governor’s spokesman, said in a statement on Thursday.