The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has said that it is collaborating with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to invest an initial sum of N10 billion to provide over 200,000 solar power for homes under the ‘Solar Power Naija’ programme.
The Solar Power Naija programme, which is part of the current administration’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) is to be supervised directly by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
According to NAN, this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Communication Officer of NSIA, Mr Titilope Olubiyi, on Thursday, December 23, 2021, in Abuja
The authority said that the NSIA-REA partnership would see the NSIA creating an initial revolving fund of N10 billion for qualified developers to distribute and manufacture Solar Home Systems.
The NSIA said the fund would be accessible by Nigerian Electrification Programme qualified developers under the existing REA and World Bank scheme, guiding technical qualification and providing grants for developers to invest and participate in off-grid electrification projects.
It also pointed out that the REA, under the Ministry of Power, would provide technical and advisory support to the NSIA as it rolled out the programme.
The NSIA in its statement said, “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 programme 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 Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) target of increasing electrification, this is a step towards creating five million solar connections over the next few years.’’
The organisation said at completion, it is expected that the investment would demonstrate locally that the solar off-grid space was an investable segment of the power market.
Speaking on the partnership and the programme, the Managing Director of REA, Ahmad Salihijo, said the partnership with NSIA was exciting in so many ways.
He said, “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.’’
On his part, the Managing Director of NSIA, Mr Uche Orji, said the authority continued to prioritise climate-smart infrastructure to create access to affordable power to Nigeria’s underserved communities, particularly in the rural areas.
He said, “NSIA recognises the latent potential in these communities and believes that access to power is fundamentally important to enhancing the capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises in these communities to support the economic growth of the country and employment creation.’’