NIGERIA – The World Bank, through a grant, has financed 20 percent of US$$3.7 million (140 billion Nigerian naira) project by The Federal Government of Nigeria to improve the electricity supply to 25 million people through the installation of five million solar home systems.

In Nigeria, the federal government is relying on solar home systems to electrify populations not connected to the national electricity grid.

It plans to provide five million solar kits to 25 million people. This new project will be implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The first series of installations will be carried out nationwide throughout December 2020.

The installation of solar home systems in Nigeria is part of the coordinated implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), known as Solar Power Naija. According to Laolu Akande, Special Assistant to the Nigerian President for Media and Advertising, the new power project will give priority to Nigerians living in both rural and urban areas.

The official points out that the solar kits could be fully owned by the beneficiaries after three years. In the meantime, they will pay for the installation at a cost ranging from 1,500 Nigerian naira (about US$4) per week to 4,000 Nigerian naira (more than US$10.5) per month depending on capacity and over a three-year period.

The implementation of this project will require an investment of 140 billion Nigerian Naira, the equivalent of US$3.7 million. The World Bank will finance 20% of the initiative through a grant.

The Central Bank of Nigeria will also make funds available for private solar energy companies involved in the manufacture, assembly, installation and maintenance of solar systems at rates ranging from 5 to 10%. At least 250,000 jobs will be created under the project.

Recently, Nigeria fulfilled the conditions for a World Bank loan and is in the final stages of closing the deal, according to Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed.

The lender’s board was to discuss the US$1.5 billion loan package at their next meeting and possibly approve the request, Ahmed said in an interview Friday with Bloomberg TV. Nigeria’s senate approved the borrowing plan from the multilateral institution in June.

Africa’s most-populous country is also considering joining the G-20 debt-relief initiative and is talking to commercial lenders to secure their backing, she said.

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