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Group urges incoming govt to focus on rural electricity


The Association of Rural Electrification Contractors of Nigeria, ARECON, has urged the President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu to decisively pay extra attention to the challenges in Nigeria’s rural electricity sector.

This was as they have also debunked reports of misdoings by the MD of the Rural Electrification Agency, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad over allegations bordering on conflict of interest of his position as the MD/CEO of REA.

A statement made available to Vanguard on Wednesday in Abuja by the ARECON, counseled Tinubu against treating Nigeria’s electrical sector with kid gloves.

They maintained that since 2020, the Rural Electrification Agency, under its present leadership, has approached the business of electrification differently, through a five-year strategy document that has strengthened the internal workings of the Agency, by consistently improving the Agency’s project delivery vehicles.

The REA was established to work in line with the Federal Government’s objective on the delivery of clean, sustainable energy infrastructure nationwide, under the Federal Ministry of Power. However, in recent weeks, allegations of fraud and conflict of interest have been recounted against the MD, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad.

The Association described these attempts as ploys by detractors to tarnish the image of the MD of REA.

In response to a petition written to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, dated April 25 2023 by Contractors and published in an online publication, the REA boss had also described the claim as untrue and defamatory.

The petition accused the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Electrification Agency, (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, of holding the position of a Director in Velocity Logistics and Marine Services Ltd while equally serving as the MD / CEO of the agency.

According to him, “It became necessary to respond to this claim as it is untrue and defamatory. For the sake of clarity, I want to emphasize that my employment history had been thoroughly vetted and approved by the appropriate authorities, upon my assumption to the role of MD / CEO at the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) on the 29th of December, 2019.

“Prior to taking on this critical role at the Agency, I had been in the private sector and had equally relinquished my position as one of the Directors of Velocity as far back as 25th of April, 2019, long before I was appointed MD / CEO of the REA. These details are accessible and available at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

“Furthermore, as an administrator committed to serve while upholding the mandate of the Agency, I have acted with the highest ethical standards and have never engaged in any behavior conflict with the interest of my position as the MD / CEO of REA.

“I am in no way privy to any and all business dealings between the Contractors and Velocity as I have had no connection whatsoever with Velocity since 25th of April, 2019.

“It is unfortunate that this publication was made and directed to harm my reputation, defame my character and that of the agency I lead.”

To this end, the Association urged the general public and the relevant Government Agencies to disregard the purported malfeasance been alleged in the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).


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