Nigeria has secured a $150m loan from the African Development Bank (ADB) and a $50m loan from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) for its Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), to boost investment and universal energy access.
The loans will help the country in its rural electrification efforts by facilitating private sector development and implementation of off-grid solutions, as well as the installation of power systems for federal universities.
The joint financing will help Nigeria’s efforts to address the energy access deficit, and catalyse achievement of universal energy access by 2030 targets.
To be implemented by Rural Electrification Agency, NEP will help channelise private sector investments into commercially viable mini-grid and off-grid solutions.
ADB vice-president for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Amadou Hott said: “Given the limited amount of public financing available, projects that catalyse private sector investment are critical in enabling the ADB and its regional member countries meet their shared objective of electrifying the continent within the next decade.”
The NEP project is aligned with the ADB’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, the High-5 priorities, as well as the Climate Change Action Plan.
The project is also aligned with the Nigeria’s rural electrification strategy and implementation plan, and the power sector recovery programme, which aims to boost private investments into the energy sector.
One aim of the NEP is to boost private sector investment in the off-grid sector, as a measure to boost universal energy access across the country.
ADB country office director for Nigeria Ebrima Faal said: “Nigeria has already implemented one of the most comprehensive regulatory frameworks for off-grid development in Africa and has attracted preliminary interest from both large international companies and local firms. The NEP will provide the spark that is needed to convert private sector interest into action.”
The NEP is expected to create jobs, and impact the country’s broader education sector goals by providing access to affordable power at federal universities through hybrid power plants that cut down heavy dependence on diesel generators.
Rural Electrification Agency managing director Damilola Ogunbiyi said: “We are extremely pleased with the ADB’s decision to support NEP. By supporting the electrification of unconnected and underserved communities, NEP will contribute materially to their economic development.
“Access to reliable, affordable and clean electricity will result in savings for households and businesses, which can be deployed to other uses. NEP will also train and employ thousands of Nigerians with particular focus on women and young people.”