COP28: Despite Being Close In Abuja For 17 Years, REA, NASENI Jet To Dubai For MoU Signing

The announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has sparked criticism due to the location of its signing on Sunday.

The signing took place during the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP28) in the UAE, where pictures were shared on social media depicting Ahmad Salihjo, REA CEO, and Khalil Halilu, NASENI CEO, signing the MoU and posing with the documents.

The MoU’s stated objectives include:

Collaboration on rural electrification in Nigeria.
Sharing knowledge and data related to the cause.
Promoting the use of renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and biomass.

The statement on their X handle read: EA x NASENI “This Memorandum of Understanding signifies not only a partnership but a pact to empower lives through the transformative power of clean and accessible energy. At the REA, we are inspired by the prospect of leveraging the strengths of both organizations. Together, we will navigate the intricate landscape of research and development, driving innovation that will redefine the energy landscape of our nation.

After the tweet, criticism from Nigerians ensued as they questioned why both agencies did not finalize this agreement in Abuja, the federal capital territory, where their headquarters are located.

NASENI, established in 1992, has been operational for 31 years, with its headquarters on Idu Industrial Layout, Abuja. On the other hand, REA, in operation for 17 years since its inception in 2006, has its headquarters at 22, Freetown Street, Wuse, Abuja. 

Interestingly, the offices are merely 26 kilometres apart, and the commute between them takes less than 40 minutes.

Criticism mounted as Nigerians questioned why, after 17 years of close proximity, the agencies opted to travel halfway across the world to Dubai instead of finalizing the MoU in Abuja.

These are some of the pictures from the event:

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