Nigerian off-grid energy investment company, All On, has said small businesses can access World Bank’s $500 million facility to develop solutions about inadequate electricity supply to rural communities across the country.
Addressing Techpoint Inspired 2019 in Lagos at the weekend, All On’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wiebe Boer said the facility is funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) through the Rural Electricity Agency (REA).
He said the facility could be accessed by off-grid energy companies to deploy their solutions.
With limited grid coverage, the Allon chief noted that many Nigerians rely on electricity generators.
Boer said financing mechanisms were being transformed to help millions of Africans who still lack access to electricity.
The funding instruments, according to him, are to boost “off-grid” and “mini-grid” connectivity using renewable energy sources.
His organisation is partnering AfDB, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Calvert Impact Capital (CIC) towards a $58 million facility for the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF).
OGEF, which is managed by LHGP Asset Management (LHGP), an alternative fund manager with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), London (United Kingdom) and Nairobi (Kenya), is a dedicated debt fund for off-grid energy companies and is part of the AfDB-sponsored Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI).
The FEI is a $500 million finance platform designed to provide loan facilities in both local and hard currencies to support innovative energy access companies.
Despite Nigeria’s significant energy resources, he said millions of million people are still without access to electricity because of inadequate investment in the sector.
Boer explained that a good number of Nigerian entrepreneurs were steadily rising to the challenge of leveraging the off-grid power revolution to provide electricity for millions of people without any in the country through innovative and adaptive technologies and business models borrowed from elsewhere but still making efforts to make them work in Nigeria.
He said there is an annual $10 billion market opportunity for mini-grids and solar home systems that will save Nigerians billions annually.
According to him, developing off-grid alternatives to complement the grid creates a market opportunity for mini-grids and solar home systems.
Boer said the company would invest in entrepreneurs that could provide electricity to households without having to go through the complexities of building a big generation and transmission infrastructure.
He urged the private sector to work with his organisation to capture the opportunity while saving Nigerians money and powering economic development to further expand the market.
The Chief Executive of Techpoint Mr. Adewale Yusuf said the forum was organised to expose organisations using technologies to create solutions to the nation’s economic and social problems.
Source: The Nation