Power Africa helps Nigeria tap private sector to help boost off-grid power for SMEs

Power Africa, the U.S. government’s initiative to help improve access to electricity across the continent, is helping Nigeria to access innovative private sector financing that will provide clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity to market places, shopping centers, and industrial facilities across Nigeria.

Fully funded by the private sector, a new Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) by Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) will support rapid deployment of off-grid electricity solutions that aim to provide electricity access to over 80,000 retail shops, empower 340,000 micro, small and medium size enterprises, and create over 2,500 jobs while serving over 18 million Nigerians.

Nigeria’s flagship Power Africa intervention, the Nigeria Power Sector Support Program (NPSP), worked with the REA and the Central Bank of Nigeria to develop an innovative financing solutions that resulted in over $1.5 million of local lending into EEI, increasing Nigeria’s capacity to self-finance development objectives. NPSP is managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

To establish the financing scheme, Power Africa provided technical support to Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency, which is implementing EEI that is already transforming businesses in Sabon Gari market, Ariara market, Sura shopping complex and other “economic clusters” with sustainable, clean and affordable power supply by increasing economic activities, spurring business growth, fostering job creation and enhancing the business experience.

“This is a significant milestone in the financing of the Energizing Economies Initiative,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, Managing Director of the REA. “Since the deployment of off-grid electricity solutions at various markets, we are already seeing positive environmental and economic impacts. This is the sort of intervention we look forward to across the country with support from financial institutions.”

Source: USAID

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