As part of the efforts to support the achievement of Universal Energy Access by 2030, the Federal Government of Nigeria has received US$ 200 million sovereign loan from a joint funding allocated by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), to provide sustainable energy solutions for the underserved communities in Nigeria, through the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).
The Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) is a Federal Government Program, implemented by the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA), in line with the Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan (RESIP) and the Power Sector Revival Program, to address the energy access deficit by channeling private sector investments into commercially viable mini grid and off-grid solutions.
The project which was officially launched in March 2020, is intended to impact lives of Nigerians by providing access to electricity to households and MSMEs in off-grid communities across the country through renewable energy sources. It will also train people on renewable energy solutions.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the project, the Vice President of the AfDB in charge of energy, Wale Shonibare, disclosed that “More than 500,000 people will have access to about 76.5 MW of power, 68 MW of which will be generated by solar energy. Also, 150 students will receive training on renewable energy solutions and 20,000 Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) will be supplied with appliances and equipment”.
Regarding training of project beneficiaries on the productive use of energy under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), the Rural Electrification Agency has stated that the objectives of the training will include a provision of practical guidance to enable and encourage stakeholders to participate in the energy-efficient, productive use of appliances market as well as support end-users to increase income and reduce market barriers.
The financing, as disclosed by the AfDB, is for the first phase of improving transmission lines and the provision of sub-stations and it will serve, among other things, to strengthen private sector investment in off-grid projects in order to provide rural Nigerians with access to reliable, affordable and secure clean energy.
Through the Nigeria Electrification Project, the Federal Government may be setting itself back on the path to achieving its ‘Universal Energy Access by 2030 target.