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25m Nigerians to benefit as government launches off-grid solutions

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
03 December 2020   |   3:26 am
The Federal Government has announced a scheme aimed at rolling out five million solar systems to provide power to unserved and underserved communities

•Scheme to generate N7b revenue, 250,000 jobs

The Federal Government has announced a scheme aimed at rolling out five million solar systems to provide power to unserved and underserved communities

This is expected to benefit over 25 million Nigerians and generate N7 billion yearly. The Federal Government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) also noted that as many as 250, 000 jobs would be created through the scheme.

The new initiative is expected to be funded with a facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo said the initiative is part of the economic recovery plan of the government. He also noted that the development was part of the government’s “committed to resolving electricity challenges and delivering on the president’s objective to deliver efficient, stable and reliable power to Nigerian”.

The REA Managing Director, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, disclosed that companies involved in the assembly/manufacturing of components of off-grid solar solutions must be 70 per cent Nigerian-owned as the entire scheme is meant to facilitate and spur local productivity.

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 (NEP) pre-qualified home solar value chain players. It includes manufacturers and assemblers of solar components and off-grid energy developers and retailers in the country”.

Salihijo said the initiative would be funded with a CBN facility. The facility would equally make low-cost local currency debt available to qualified companies, he said.

“Private companies will be supported to employ more Nigerians to be able to provide services in the area of manufacturing, distribution, installation, project management and after-sales services. The programme also supports manufacturers and assemblers of solar technology to set up production facilities in Nigeria to support the off-grid energy sector with about 250,000 new jobs,” he said.

He described the programme as a deliberate and strategic plan response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also said that the development shows the government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2030.