On December 1,2020,the Federal Government of Nigeria, through its implementing Agency-Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to support the economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has launched an initiative as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to achieve the roll out of 5 million new solar connections in off grid communities. This program is expected to generate an additional N7 billion increase in tax revenues per annum and $10 million in annual import substitution.
The solar connection Scheme is a Federal government initiative whose objectives are:
1. Expand energy access to 25 million individuals (5 million new connections) through the provision of Solar Home Systems (SHS) or connection to a mini grid
2. Increase local content in the off grid solar value chain and facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing and assembly industry;
3. Incentivize the creation of 250,000 new jobs in the energy sector.
The Solar Connection Intervention Facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), will complement the Federal government’s effort of providing affordable electricity to unserved rural communities through the provision of long-term low interest credit facilities to the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) pre-qualified SHS distributors and mini grid development companies. This also includes qualified home solar value chain players such as manufacturers and assemblers of solar components.
The REA Managing Director, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, expressed optimism over the determination of the Federal Government to transform the power sector in accordance with its Next Level agenda. He stated that, “This is a testament to our dedication and commitment to scaling the off-grid solar market through provision of long term low interest credit facilities to the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) pre-qualified home solar value chain players that include manufacturers and assemblers of solar components and off-grid energy developers and retailers in the country”.