FG unveils new energy access project ‘Solar Power Naija’

By Oke Peter

The Federal Government of Nigeria has launched a ‘Solar Power Naija’ project, a programme focussing on 5 million solar connections for off-grid communities as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a media statement issued by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), this solar power programme is expected to generate an additional
N7 billion ($18 million) increase in tax revenues per annum and $10 million in annual import substitution.

The solar connection scheme is a Federal government initiative whose objectives are:

Expand energy access to 25 million individuals (5 million new connections) through the provision of solar home systems (SHS) or connection to a mini-grid;

Increase local content in the off-grid solar value chain and facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing and assembly industry;

Incentivise the creation of 250,000 new jobs in the energy sector. The Solar Connection Intervention Facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), will complement the Federal government’s effort of providing affordable electricity to unserved rural communities through the provision of long-term low-interest credit facilities to the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) pre-qualified SHS distributors and mini grid development companies.

This also includes qualified home solar value chain players such as manufacturers and assemblers of solar components

“The Nigerian government is committed to resolving the challenges and delivering the president’s objective to deliver efficient, stable, and reliable power to Nigerians and put Nigeria on the path to economic recovery,” said Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The REA managing director, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, expressed optimism over the determination of the Federal government to transform the power sector in accordance with its Next Level agenda.

He said: “This is a testament to our dedication and commitment to scaling the off-grid solar market through the provision of long term low-interest credit facilities to the Nigeria Electrification Project pre-qualified home solar value chain players that include manufacturers and assemblers of solar components and off-grid energy developers and retailers in the country.”

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