By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade has commended the Federal Government for taking particular interest in ensuring that electricity is brought to rural communities in the state.
Ayade made the commendation when Board Member/Non-Executive Director representing the South-South zone in the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, Hon. Eddi Julius and his team paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Calabar yesterday.
Representing Governor Ayade, the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu, expressed satisfaction over the amount of work done so far in the provision of electricity to the rural communities in the state.
Ayade stated that with availability of electricity in their communities, some people who resides in the rural communities can now afford to set up small and medium scale enterprises.
The governor however decried the lack of power for a period of between six months to one year in some rural communities.
Advocating the installation of renewal energy in some hard to reach communities, so that people residing in such communities can have a sense of belonging, Ayade averred that at the state level, government had been doing its best in the provision of electricity to villages through the devices of the State Rural Electrification Agency, SREA, with the establishment of a gigantic power plant to boast electricity supply.
In his remarks, leader of the team/board member, REA, stated that the agency is a Federal Government parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Power, saddled with the responsibility of designing and implementing strategies to achieve rural access to electricity for sustainable economic and social development in rural communities.
Julius stressed that REA has indicated interest to partner the state government in some projects such as Calas Vegas, garment factory, 23 megawatt power plant as well as rice seed and seedling factory.
He pointed out that REA has executed about 36 rural electrification projects in Cross River so far, with 15 more projects expected under the year 2020 appropriation.