- The Nation
The Federal Government of Nigeria said over 1,300 abandoned Rural Electrification Agency (REA) projects will be completed before granting approval for fresh ones.
According to source in the agency that made the disclosure to The Nation in confidence at Abuja, “President Muhammadu Buhari said there is no need for new projects when we have not completed the ones we started and abandoned.”
The source who asked not to be named noted that “the Federal Government has earmarked N6 billion for on-going projects across the 36 States of Nigeria.
He further said, “We have asked the contractors to go to the site and once they present their certificates we pay them.”
He added that even in the 2017 budget, the agency is simply budgeting for the completion of existing projects.
He also disclosed that following the Government’s decision to inject money into circulation, it has approved N1.2 billion for the payment of the debt owed to the agency’s contractors.
The source said that government was owing to the contractors N7.8 billion from which the agency presented N2.2 billion in this year’s budget and got an approval for N1.2 billion.
The REA source further disclosed, decided to pay all those that were owed N1 million and below, 100 %. “We paid N2 million to those that were owed N2 million to N8 million, while we paid 25% to those that were owed N8 million and above.”
75% of the contractors, said the source, have so far been paid in the ongoing settlement from the N1.2billion.
The source also revealed that owing to government’s decision to make some paradigm shift in the power sector, it has now had a recourse to the development of renewable energy.
Continuing, he said that “for cleaner energy, we are exploiting the renewable energy. We have proposed six pilot projects for the renewable energy under the Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan (RESIP).
“This has to be through the establishment of the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) using international best practices and transparency. We just had the approval for REF and the minister will launch it very soon.”