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Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority targets 200,000 off-grid connections by 2023

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on Thursday announced that it is partnering with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in an effort to catalyse ‘Off-Grid’ renewable power to underserved communities in Nigeria.

​NSIA’s communications adviser, Titilope Olubiyi, in a statement said the initiative, tagged “Solar Power Naija Programme“, is being launched under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s Economic Sustainability Plan, and supervised by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

It said the NSIA-REA partnership will see the NSIA creating an initial revolving fund of N10 billion for qualified developers to distribute and manufacture Solar Home Systems.

“The fund will be accessible by Nigerian Electrification Program qualified developers under the existing REA and World Bank scheme that guides technical qualification and provides grants for developers to invest and participate in Off-Grid Electrification projects,” the statement says.

According to the statement, the REA under the power ministry will provide technical and advisory support to the NSIA as it rolls out the program.

The Authority said: “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.”

Also, it explained that the programme is estimated to create up to 20,000 jobs across manufacturing, assembly, installation and retail over the period.

“This partnership will help Nigeria meet its ESP target of increasing Electrification, this is a step towards creating 5 million solar connections over the next few years,” the NSIA said.

At completion, the investment firm said they expect that the investment will demonstrate locally that the Solar Off-Grid space is an investable segment of the power market.

In his remarks, Ahmad Salihijo, REA’s managing director and chief executive officer described the partnership with NSIA as “exciting”.

“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,” he said.

In a similar manner, Uche Orji, NSIA’s managing director and chief executive officer said: “NSIA continues to prioritise climate-smart infrastructure to create access to affordable power to Nigeria’s underserved 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,” the NSIA official said.

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