Federal government, through the Rural Electrification Agency(REA) has unveiled its plans to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to 300,000 homes and 30,000 local businesses with mini-grids.
To achieve this, it has signed grant agreements with seven renewable energy investors under the World Bank-funded Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).
The grant agreement signing for the Performance-Based Grant (PBG) and Output-Based Fund (OBF), which took place over the weekend in Abuja, was attended by power sector stakeholders and representatives from international donor agencies.
The grant agreements are the OBF for the sale of solar home systems to homes and businesses across Nigeria and the PBG for the deployment of mini-grids to un-served and under-served communities in Nigeria.
Following a thorough procurement process, the first six companies to be signed to the OBF are: A4&T Integrated Services Limited, ASOLAR Systems Nigeria Limited, Txtlight Power Solutions Limited (Lumos Nigeria), Greenlight Planet, Smarter Grid International and Solar Energy by D Light Limited.
With these grants, the companies would play a major role in enabling the NEP Solar Home Systems (SHS) component to achieve its goal of electrifying one million Nigerian households in five years using renewable energy solutions.
PowerGen Renewable Energy is the first company to sign for the PBG under the NEP mini-grid components.
Under this partnership with REA, PowerGen would deploy mini-grids to Rokota community in Niger state.
REA’s mini-grids component head, Ms. Lolade Abiola, led the project to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to 300,000 homes and 30,000 local businesses with mini-grids.
After the signing, she reiterated that “the grant agreement signing today is an attestation to both local and foreign investors of the readiness of the Nigerian government to leverage renewable energy technologies for increased access to electricity. I can confidently state that renewable energy is the next big thing for the sector.”
In her remarks, the REA Managing Director, Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi, expressed optimism over the determination of the federal government to transform the power sector in accordance with its Next Level agenda.
She acknowledged the support of the World Bank and the African Development Bank to improve electricity access through the provision of grant funding and technical assistance.
“REA, in collaboration with the federal government, has secured funds from the World Bank ($350 million) and African Development Bank ($200 million). These funds will go a long way in helping us connect communities, schools and homes to constant electricity,” she added.
Representatives of the companies have expressed appreciation to the REA and the World Bank with assurances of their dedication to make a positive mark in the Nigerian electricity space using the allocated funds.