The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has concluded plans to invest in the off-grid renewable market in partnership with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), under the Solar Power Naija Program.
The project’s goal is to provide 200,000 off-grid solar home systems (SHS) in the first phase. More solar systems will be provided later on to meet a target of over 500,000 connections as the Fund revolves and is expanded through to 2023.
Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, MD/CEO of the REA, on Thursday, said: “The partnership with NSIA is 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.
About 20,000 jobs are expected to be created across manufacturing, assembly, installation and retail.
The partnership will see the NSIA provide an initial revolving fund of about N10 billion for qualified solar developers across the country to produce and distribute stand-alone photovoltaic systems.
The fund can only be accessed by qualified developers under the existing REA/World Bank scheme that guides technical qualification and provides grants for developers to invest and participate in Off-Grid Electrification projects, as approved by NEP (Nigerian Electrification Program).
The REA, under the Ministry of Power, will provide the needed technical and advisory support to the NSIA in the course of the project.
Speaking on the purpose of the investment, MD/CEO of the NSIA, Uche Orji, said that ‘access to power’ is a basic necessity which will help businesses in rural communities thrive, create jobs and promote the growth and development of the economy.
“NSIA continues to prioritize climate-smart infrastructure to create access to affordable power to Nigeria’s under-served communities, particularly in the rural areas.
“NSIA recognizes the latent potential in these communities and believes that access to power is fundamentally important to enhancing the capacity of SMEs in these communities to support the economic growth of the country and employment creation,” Orji said.
The project will help facilitate the realization of the Federal Government’s ESP (Economic Sustainability Plan) of increasing electrification, creating 5 million solar connections over the next few years.