In a significant development for Nigeria’s rural electrification efforts, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mr. Khalil Halilu, and the Managing Director/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, have forged a partnership to harness NASENI’s solar resources and renewable energy technologies to enhance electricity supply in rural areas.
The commitment to this collaboration was reached during discussions between the two chief executives in Abuja on Friday, September 15, 2023, when Mr. Halilu, the newly appointed EVC/CEO of NASENI, visited the REA office as part of his ongoing efforts to engage with stakeholders and promote the adoption of NASENI’s technologies.
Mr. Halilu, who assumed his role at NASENI just two weeks prior, expressed his commitment to hit the ground running by fostering effective collaborations with key stakeholders who can assist NASENI in fulfilling its mandate of providing the essential science and engineering infrastructure needed for Nigeria’s businesses and economy to flourish.
He outlined the strategy for NASENI, which involves engaging potential end-users of the Agency’s technology and engineering products, simplifying the uptake of their Research & Development (R&D) initiatives, and directly impacting the Nigerian economy.
Both chief executives pledged to work together to reduce the cost of solar power installation in rural areas, with a particular emphasis on boosting local production of solar panels by NASENI. The overarching objective, as articulated by REA MD Ahmad Salihijo, is to expedite the Federal Government’s goal of achieving rural electrification across Nigeria in a record time frame.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Halilu also paid a visit to Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as part of a similar outreach mission. During their meeting, the two CEOs stressed the importance of nurturing local content capacity, both in terms of human resources and materials, as a means of transforming the economy.
Halilu sought to leverage the long-standing relationship between himself and the NITDA boss, as well as the historical ties between their respective organizations, to exchange experiences and best practices in management and resource optimization.
Abdullahi shared NITDA’s successful strategy of focusing on enhancing the mindset and skillset of its staff, revealing that this approach had enabled the Agency to achieve 62% of its goals and objectives within just two years, ahead of its originally projected four-year timeline. He expressed confidence that a similar approach could yield significant results for NASENI, provided there was a well-thought-out strategic plan and a clear vision and goals.
This collaboration between NASENI and REA holds promise for advancing rural electrification in Nigeria and underscores the importance of leveraging local resources and expertise to drive technological and economic progress.