C’River ready to meet REA’S counterpart funding requirements to improve rural economies

Governor Bassey Otu has announced that his administration is ready to meet the counterpart funding requirements of the Federal Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to provide mini-grid power supply to rural communities.

This move is aimed at boosting the micro-economies of the state and improving productivity levels, especially in the agricultural and rural communities.

Speaking during a courtesy call to him in Calabar, by the REA management team, Governor Otu expressed his administration’s willingness to meet the 30 percent counterpart funding, which is necessary for attracting REA’s interventions. 

He emphasized the importance of power supply in powering the rural economies to achieve energy and food security for the people of Cross River.

Governor Otu commended the REA for the 7-megawatt power project that will provide steady power supply for the University of Calabar and the University Teaching Hospital, UCTH.

He also praised the REA team’s technical capacity and President Bola Tinubu’s administration for putting round pegs in round holes.

He disclosed that Cross River energy law would soon be in place, and the state with an energy capacity of nearly 600 megawatts would be an exporter of energy to other states.

The MD of the REA, Mallam Abba Aliu, explained that the agency promotes and coordinates electrification programmes and administers the Rural Electrification Fund to provide rural electrification through public and private sector participation in the country. 

He revealed that REA has secured $750 million in funding, making it the world’s largest public sector off-grid funded project.

Aliu added that the state must provide 30% counterpart funding for the agency to provide 70% for projects located in a partner state. The state will also provide land, which is a crucial requirement for citing any project in any state. 

He also revealed REA’s ‘Energy Agriculture Initiative,’ where solar mini-grids are provided to enhance agriculture.

The MD assured the governor that REA has marked Cross River as a flashpoint for various interventions.