The federal government accelerates energy access, at least N7 billion has been released for the deployment of 100,000 units of Solar Home System (SH) under the Solar Power Naija (SPN) scheme.
The SPN programme was created as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) deployed during the COVID-19 period of 2021, to expand energy access to 25 million individuals with five million new connections through the provision of Solar Home Systems (SHS) or a mini-grid.
The solar-based connections are to be in communities that are not connected to the national grid which ought to also increase local content in the off-grid solar value chain and further the local manufacturing industry while creating 250,000 new jobs in the energy sector which would reduce the unemployment rate.
The initiative is a N140 billion long-term and low-interest credit facility to private sector developers in the business of deploying SHS and mini-grids in order to rapidly scale up deployments and make energy access more affordable.
The financing scheme implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was in response to the complaints of solar power project developers of the lack of access to funds for renewable energy projects. Some of the developers under the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) had said raising debt financing has been a major stumbling block for private developers. However, according to the template of the SPN, the scheme through CBN supports companies raising the required upfront capital for investment in off-grid electrification. It also supports the financing of upstream companies in the business of manufacturing and assembly of off-grid value chain components, such as solar panels, inverters, batteries, and other balance of system components. This is to increase the local content value chain and reduce the overreliance on fully assembled solar systems in Nigeria.