NIGERIA – NIGERIA has secured a US$500,000 grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the development of clean energy in Nigeria.

The grant was approved under the AfDB’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), according to a statement issued by the bank in September this year.

The AfDB’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa is a multi-donor facility established to generate private sector investments in clean energy projects in Africa.

AfDB Acting Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, Wale Shonibare, in the statement said the grant would also support the inauguration of the Nigeria Energy Access Fund (NEAF).

The Nigeria Energy Access Fund is a private equity fund developed by ‘All On’, an impact investment firm financed by Shell.

The Fund will make strategic investments in sustainable energy in Nigeria, particularly in the off-grid and mini-grid sectors, according to Shonibare.

Mr. Shonibare added that NEAF would provide eligible projects and businesses with equity solutions that were currently unavailable in the market.

“Nigeria requires bespoke and innovative market-based solutions to provide its off-grid population, estimated at 100 million, access to sustainable sources of energy,” Shonibare said

“The SEFA grant will be instrumental in the constitution of NEAF, and ultimately, the mobilisation of much-needed private sector investment for clean energy.”

Shonibare also noted that the grant will support specific work streams to set NEAF in motion and enhance its engagement with private and public sector investors.

Once operational, NEAF is expected to complement AfDB’s ongoing sustainable energy initiatives in Nigeria.

Shonibare further disclosed that SEFA’s support to NEAF was aligned with the New Deal on Energy for Africa.

The project is expected to boost the Federal Government’s power sector recovery plans, in line with AfDB’s Energy Sector Strategy.

It is estimated that approximately 55 percent of Nigerian households do not have access to electricity.

The government has however stepped up its efforts of realising universal power access to its citizens by 2030 by taking on ambitious power projects.

The Kebbi Solar Hybrid Power Plant Project with a capacity of 98.8KW and the US$2.5billion, 3600 MW pipeline projects that were unveiled in September this year are good examples of commitment of Nigeria towards realizing Universal Energy access.