By Constance Athekame
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) on Wednesday inaugurated an Energy Management System (EMS) Control Centre to host all mini-grids in the country to boost electricity access to Nigerians.
The project which reaffirms the Federal Government’s commitment towards increasing energy access to un-served and underserved areas nationwide was executed by REA and with support from Korean government through an In-Kind-Grant.
Speaking while inaugurating the project in Abuja, the Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, said that collaborations such as these would help bridge the gap between the served and the un-served.
Adebayo, represented by Mr Abubakar Ali-Dapshima, Director, Renewable Energy and Rural Power Access, Ministry of Power said the EMS was a testament to collective dedication to progress, efficiency, and empowerment of Nigerians.
According to him, the system will revolutionise the way the country manage and utilise energy data across its electrification programmes.
“For us, the EMS is not just a tool; it is a mechanism we plan to optimise to alleviate the existential problem of poor energy data in the nation’s energy space.
“It is a gateway to a future where data becomes a strategic asset in our pursuit of reliable, accessible, and sustainable energy.
“Most importantly, I must commend REA for deliberately drawing in partnerships, while forming alliances as an institution that serves as a solid entry point into the nation’s renewable energy space,” he said.
The minister said the partnership reaffirmed the need for all stakeholders in the power sector to stay on course in the optimisation of strategic collaboration for a common goal.
“I extend my deepest gratitude to the Korean Government for their invaluable support, a testament to the enduring partnership between our nations.
“This collaborative effort stands as a beacon of solidarity, showcasing how nations can come together to address shared challenges and create meaningful change,” he said.
It is the belief of the Federal Ministry of Power that these projects will be delivered on time and with the best standard for our people,’’ he said.
The Managing Director, REA, Ahmad Salihijo said: ’’the milestone achieved under the Korean Energy Project is a testament of the agency’s resolve to collaborate with development partners in delivering its mandate.
He said that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between REA and Korean Government for the project was signed in 2023.
According to him, the actualisation of the project was made possible through the support of the Korean Government under the Official Development Assistance (ODA).
“The completion of this EMS coincides with the Electricity Act 2023 under section 154 (Monitoring of Rural Electrification Projects).
“It mandates the agency to put in place appropriate machinery for the monitoring of rural electrification implementation projects nationwide.
“This system represents a significant leap forward in our ability to capture and manage energy data across diverse electrification programmes within our nation and through the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Power.
“In a landscape where data is paramount, the EMS stands as a beacon of efficiency and transparency.
“It is a tool that will empower us to make informed decisions, optimize our energy resources, and enhance the impact of our electrification initiatives across Nigeria,” he said.
Salihijo said the system would seamlessly integrate with the agency’s existing programmes by providing real-time insights, and enabling us to navigate the dynamic energy landscape with precision
He said that .
the system would further strengthen the agency’s collaboration with the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) on the development, integration, monitoring and management of interconnected mini grids.
“I must emphasise the timeliness of this innovative intervention, coming at a time where the energy sector in Nigeria is once again going through a data-driven, transformative change through the visionary leadership of President Bola Tinubu.
“The Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Kim Young-Chae said that the Republic of South Korea made a commitment through the Official Development Assistance fund to support the Nigerian power sector particularly on the development of solar mini-grids,” he said.
Young-Chae represented by Mr Choi Won, First Secretary, Economic, Embassy of Korea said that Korea understands the role of solar power generation on energy access and climate resilience.
“Rural electrification requires unique granular data which is why the Government of Korea undertook the Integrated Energy Management System to enable efficient planning and design concepts.
“The EMS can host all mini-grids data hence will strengthen the position of REA on central coordination role.
“The Korean Government is also seeking to strengthen and promote its cooperation with the Nigerian Government for the prosperity of both nations,” he said.
==========Edited by Uche Anunne