The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), says it is investing an initial N10 billion to provide over 200,000 solar power for homes under the “Solar Power Naija” initiative in partnership with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
It said this in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja, by Mr Titilope Olubiyi, its Communications Officer.
According to the authority, under the NSIA-REA partnership, the NSIA’s initial revolving fund of N10 billion is for qualified developers to distribute and manufacture solar home systems.
It 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 added that the REA, under the Ministry of Power, would provide technical and advisory support to the NSIA as it rolled out the programme.
“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,” said the statement.
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, Ahmad Salihijo, the Managing Director of REA, said the partnership with NSIA was 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,” said Salihijo.
Mr Uche Orji, Managing Director of NSIA, 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.
“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,” he said.
The statement added that the Solar Power Naija Programme was being coordinated under the ESP of the federal government and supervised directly by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.