Solar energy booms as power crisis worsens

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is investing in the Off-Grid renewable space in partnership with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The Solar Power Naija Program is being launched under the Buhari Administration’s Economic Sustainability Plan (“ESP”) and supervised directly by the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The NSIA-REA partnership will see the NSIA creating an initial revolving fund of N10 billion for qualified developers to distribute and manufacture Solar Home Systems. The fund will be accessible by Nigerian Electrification Program qualified developers under the existing REA and World Bank scheme that guides technical qualification and provides grants for developers to invest and participate in Off-Grid Electrification projects. The REA under the Ministry of Power will provide technical and advisory support to the NSIA as it rolls out the program.

This investment by NSIA is targeted at catalysing 200,000 Off-Grid connections in the first instance with a goal of reaching over 500,000 systems as the Fund revolves and is expanded through to 2023. The program is estimated to also create up to 20,000 jobs across manufacturing, assembly, installation and retail over the period. Additionally, this partnership will help Nigeria meet its ESP target of increasing Electrification, this is a step towards creating 5 million solar connections over the next few years. At completion, it is expected that this investment will demonstrate locally that the Solar Off-Grid space is an investable segment of the power market.

Speaking on the partnership and the programme, Ahmad Salihijo, the MD/CEO of the REA said “the partnership with NSIA is exciting in so many ways, we believe this investment commitment as approved by the NSIA Board is a harbinger for increased investments in the Off-Grid renewable space that will help Nigeria achieve its goals under COP 26 and eliminate the Electrification Gap in the country”.

Mr. Uche Orji, MD/CEO of the NSIA in his comment said “NSIA continues to prioritize climate-smart infrastructure to create access to affordable power to Nigeria’s underserved communities, particularly in the rural areas. NSIA recognizes the latent potential in these communities and believes that access to power is fundamentally important to enhancing the capacity of SMEs in these communities to support the economic growth of the country and employment creation”.

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