WORLD BANK DIRECTOR VISITS KILANKWA COMMUNITIES TO ASSESS IMPACT OF MINI-GRID PROJECTS.
Abuja, Nigeria – June 27, 2023 – The World Bank Director of Strategy and Operations for the Western and Central African Region, Elizabeth Huybens, conducted a site inspection visit to Kilankwa I and Kilankwa II communities in Kwali Area Councils of the FCT, Nigeria. Led by the Managing Director/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) as well as REA-NEP team. The purpose of the visit was to assess the impact and effectiveness of the 120kWp (60kWp each) mini grid projects deployed as part of the Performance Based Grant programme under the Solar Hybrid Mini-Grid component of the Nigeria Electrification Project, funded by the World Bank.
Both Kilankwa I and II communities have experienced significant positive changes since the installation of these mini grids which have been in operation since 2021. The project provides clean, safe and reliable electricity that powers boreholes, illuminates the communities during nighttime, and powers productive use equipment such as rice mills and electric grinders. The impact of the project has greatly enhanced the quality of life and socio-economic activities within the communities. Through the NEP-PBG initiative, over 80 similar mini-grids have been deployed across the country, ensuring equitable access to electricity.
During the visit, the World Bank Director conveyed the Bank’s continued commitment to addressing Nigeria’s electricity challenges. She recognized the importance of reliable and sustainable electricity access for the country’s economic growth and development. As part of this commitment, the World Bank is actively supporting projects to enhance Nigeria’s power sector, including investments in renewable energy sources. By collaborating with Nigerian stakeholders such as the REA, the World Bank aims to strengthen the country’s electricity system and increase access to power, particularly in underserved rural area
The World Bank’s Director of Strategy and Operations expressed satisfaction during her remarks, citing the observations that mini-grids in Nigeria will effectively provide access to a significantly larger number of people at a faster pace compared to solely depending on the National Grid.
Huybens was impressed by the mini-grid system implemented in Kilankwa communities and provided her insights on optimizing the utilization of the generated electricity. She expressed her hope for increased connectivity between mini-grids, productive usage, and other applications such as agricultural processing, irrigation, and electric vehicles in the future.
The delegation assessed the impact of the mini-grid sites and identified potential areas for improvement and expansion. Huybens also disclosed that the $350 million grant is coming to a close and that a successor project of $750 million is being prepared. She said that the World Bank is expanding its support for mini-grids in Nigeria because it believes that the country is leading the world in this area.
The Managing Director/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Engr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, expressed confidence in the Agency’s commitment to accelerating the deployment of impactful off-grid projects. He emphasized the Agency’s dedication to maintaining standardized implementation processes to ensure the effectiveness of these initiatives.
Ahmad said, “We are still focused on productive use and ensuring that energy-efficient equipment is connected to the mini-grid. We select communities based on the Performance-Based Grant (PBG) in partnership with developers. Developers use a database to identify clusters of communities and connect them to the grid.”
The site inspection visit marks a significant milestone in the collaboration between the World Bank and the Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria (REA) through the funding of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP). This partnership showcases the shared dedication to improving energy access in Nigeria and tackling the country’s electricity issues. Through investments in renewable energy solutions, the World Bank and REA are collaboratively working to deliver sustainable and dependable electricity to communities throughout the nation.
The Nigeria Electrification Project seeks to bridge the energy access deficit in Nigeria by providing electricity to households, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), educational and healthcare facilities in unserved and underserved rural communities. The NEP does this through the deployment of solar hybrid mini grids, solar home systems (SHS), captive power plants, and productive use appliances. The NEP is transforming lives, powering economic activities, and driving socioeconomic development in Nigeria.