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Nigeria Launches Solar Power Initiative

Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency has launched a five million  Naira solar power Naija Initiative programme as part of the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan, ESP.

The ESP is a deliberate and strategic plan designed as a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The solar power Initiative is designed to provide energy access to twenty-five million un-served or underserved Nigerians.

This is one of the critical programmes intended as a strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to revitalize local economies and provide clean, safe and reliable energy to Nigerians.
The initiative is a private sector-led electricity access acceleration scheme to be facilitated by a low cost loan facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria and implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency.

Earlier this year, the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration approved the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) developed by the Economic Sustainability.

One of the key interventions under the NESP is the Solar Power Naija Initiative, a program that seeks to connect 5 million unserved and underserved households and businesses.

Solar Power Naija will help address the challenge of access to affordable finance through the Central Bank of Nigeria Facility which makes low-cost local currency debt available to qualified companies.

Private companies will be supported to employ more Nigerians to be able to provide services in the area of manufacturing, distribution, installation and other project management and after-sales services.

It will also leverage on the support from our donor partners such as the World Bank, USAID, SEforALL and FCDO in the areas of Data on Locations, Programme Design, Manufacturing Framework and Quality Assurance.

According to the MD/CEO of the Agency, Ahmad Salihijo, “the five million solar powers Initiative programme would crease local content in the off-grid solar value chain and facilitating the growth of the local manufacturing and assembly industry”

The programme also supports manufacturers and assemblers of solar technology to set up production facilities in Nigeria, in order to support the off-grid energy sector with about 250,000 new jobs.

As we move towards full implementation of the programme, I call on the donors to continue providing support to help in making the off-grid sector commercially viable and in making electricity available and affordable to the off-grid population. Additionally, this will further confirm our commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030, when compared to the “businessas-usual” levels. Salihijo added.

He emphasized that Companies involved in the assembly/manufacturing of components of off-grid solar solutions must be 70% Nigerian owned as the entire ESP is meant to facilitate and spur local productivity.

This programme shows government commitment to supporting the private sector to develop decentralized energy solutions in locations where the grid is not viable or service is inadequate.

The MD therefore encouraged private companies to take advantage of this intervention and work with the Agency towards achieving the set targets under the programme.

 

 

 

Source: Voice of Nigeria