The Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, has directed three agencies under his administration to improve the supply of power to consumers.

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Jedy-Agba directed the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) and the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) to set up the measures.

He said, “Businesses will grow if they have light. So we need to step up our game and the essence of this interaction is for the media to assess whether we are succeeding at that.

“I feel that we should give those people (in rural areas) more than we give attention to ourselves in the city because you grow from down to up, and if we grow them, we will grow our nation.”

In his address at the meeting, the Managing Director, REA, Salihijo Ahmad, said over 80 million Nigerians lacked access to power.

He said private investors such as the World Bank had given a $350m fund, while the African Development Bank brought $200m to finance solar mini-grid and other rural power projects.

The Managing Director, NEMSA, Peter Ewesor, said the agency had inspected 5,652 power installations nationwide and that over 65 per cent had been certified for supplying electricity.

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He, however, remarked that his agency was striving to check the influx of substandard electrical materials, adding that the ban on connecting homes directly to 33kV power lines by power distributors was still valid.

“For the one year after enforcement, 2018 to 2019, there is a huge gap, as we have grown 11kV faster than we had done in the past. Before, 33KV was growing while the 11kV line was almost stagnant,” Ewesor stated.

Also, the Director-General of NAPTIN, Ahmed Nagode, stated that his institute had been able to train about 16,000 personnel in the power sector.