FG, World Bank advocate funding for mini-grid projects

The Nigerian government and the World Bank are working out finance models to fund the growing mini-grid industry in Nigeria. The likely system being planned is a limited subsidy structure that will see mini-grid constructors paid for every connection, Development Finance reports.

The Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, Damilola Ogunbiyi, said private funding is needed to boost the off-grid industry: “The power sector in Nigeria should be driven by private funding, innovation, and technology, which can achieve [energy] access much faster than the public sector. It needs to be private sector-driven access model for Nigeria.”

Ogunbiyi, however, noted that the private sector cannot electrify the most remote communities in the country, with special reference to hospitals schools that are unlikely to attract private partners on market terms only.

The government introduced a mini-grid policy last year to pull investment into rural areas. REA’s mandate was also expanded to include the provision of electricity to medium and small-scale enterprises in urban areas.