FG to begin N140b nationwide solar installation – Presidency
Mandates Affordable Credit To Fund Programme
The Federal Government will next week, commence the installation of five million solar home systems worth N140b in under-served and off-grid communities across the country.
This, a Presidency source said is in continuation of coordinated implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) across the country.
The Guardian gathered that the programme will include the assembly and manufacturing of components of off-grid solutions to facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing industry, while the use of local content will be incentivised.
Confirming the development, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande said the work plan for implementation of the N140b Solar Home Systems, a component of the ESP; indicate that the first set of installations will be done nationwide in December.
“By its design, the programme will cover up to five million households, serving about 25 million individual Nigerians who live mostly in rural communities and not currently connected to the national grid.
Based on the plan of the ESC set up earlier in the year by the President who asked the Vice President to chair, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will make available funds to the private companies in the solar power sub-sector involved in the manufacture, assembling, installation, servicing of the solar systems, at rates ranging between five to 10 per cent, way below the current commercial lending rates in the country.
The Guardian gathered that the objective of providing cheap credit for companies involved in the programme is to significantly reduce the cost of acquiring the system by end-users who are Nigerians most of whom are not being served by the national grid.
“The reduction in the lending rate will be a big incentive for the private sector under the ESP, while also making power and energy more affordable for the 25m Nigerians when compared to consumers of electric power.”
He said the Solar Home System, as an important component of the administration’s ESP is designed as part of measures by the Federal Government to ramp up power supply across the country by catering specifically for communities not connected to the national grid. It is also part of the administration’s strategy to address the overall challenges and issues in the power sector, as Solar is not only cheaper but considered to be cleaner and renewable.
“Regarding jobs, the ESP 5m Solar installation is expected to create about 250,000 jobs including in manufacturing, assembling, installations, maintenance and payment systems,” he said.