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World Bank, REA Team Visits Gov Zulum In Borno For Renewable Energy

By Inusa Ndahi, Maiduguri

A high-level delegation from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the World Bank Mission at the week end paid a courtesy visit to Governor Babagana Zulum on the move to enhance renewable energy.

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Zulum who was represented by the Acting Governor, Umar Kadafur was briefed on the benefits of the Energizing Education Programme (EEP Phase II deployed at the University of Maiduguri, to which, he expressed gratitude to the top management delegation from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the World Bank for prioritising project sites deployed to Borno State.

Kadafur emphasised the profound impact of renewable energy on citizens who had previously remained without access to electricity and highlighted ways the energy supply has alleviated their hardship.

Apparently, the EEP project aligns with the state’s commitment to sustainable energy development and ensuring reliable electricity supply.

He also underscored the state’s policies “to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy access in underserved communities, and foster economic growth through innovative energy solutions.’

He assured that the state government would prioritise the security of these projects and urged the university to maintain adequate safeguards.

The Acting Governor also commended REA’s Managing Director/CEO, Abba Abubakar Aliyu, and emphasised the importance of sustaining the collaboration between the World Bank and REA.

The REA’s Managing Director/CEO, Abba Abubakar Aliyu, remarked on the significance of providing electricity to tertiary institutions.

He noted that the second phase of the project, funded by the World Bank, aims to provide 12MW of power, benefiting 350,000 students and impacting over 50,000 staff, including non-academic staff. He highlighted the near completion of the Phase II project, which includes seven universities and two teaching hospitals.

He further stated that this is the World Bank’s first visit, and their support has been crucial in making this project a reality. Due to their confidence in the REA’s project implementation, the World Bank is providing an additional $750 million for the second phase of the program called the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES).

Mr. Ashish Khanna, World Bank Practice Manager for West Africa, expressed the World Bank’s commitment to the Energizing Education Programme (EEP) and Nigeria’s electrification.

He emphasised the project’s role in skill-building, job creation, and fostering innovation among students, especially female Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students.

Olufemi Akinyelure, Head of the Nigeria Electrification Project, stated, “Our mission is to create a sustainable future for Nigeria’s educational institutions. The EEP Phase II underscores our dedication to leveraging renewable energy solutions to drive academic excellence and gender inclusion in STEM fields.”

The delegation proceeded to the University of Maiduguri for the site inspection of the solar plant, where they were warmly received by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mohammed Mele.

During the facility tour, Ashish Khanna, Practice Manager at the World Bank, met with 20 female STEM students trained under the program, highlighting the EEP’s transformative impact.

This visit underscores the REA’s dedication to advancing renewable energy solutions with a skilled and empowered workforce. End

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