The US-EXIM Bank has extended the sum of $1.5 billion as loan to Nigeria to boost solar power infrastructure in 10 different locations in the country.
Speaking with newsmen after a meeting of a delegation of his company with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja last weekend, the chief executive officer of SUN Africa LLC, USA, Adam Cortese said the loan was a government-to-government facility on a concessional rate of over 20 years.
He explained that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) will own the assets, which he said would not only generate low cost electricity but also enable the company to pay back the loan.
“Once again, this is government-to-government financing. It’s built upon the success that we’ve had in Angola recently, where we’ve delivered roughly $2.6 billion of solar PV storage and transmission capacity.
“I think the important point to note here is, yes, it’s a government-to-government loan, from the US-EXIM Bank to the government of Nigeria, but it’s being done on a concessional rate; over 20-year tenure, which is extremely attractive.
“What’s unique about this model is that NDPHC is going to own its own assets. So, it’s going to own its own generation base and our project will deliver a low levelised cost of electricity, which will not only allow them to pay back the loan from EXIM Bank, but generate a profit on top of it.”
While receiving the delegation earlier, Buhari declared that the rapid integration of solar power into the country’s energy mix would lead to an increase in electricity access to underserved and unserved communities.
President stressed that his administration had embarked on several reforms aimed at revitalising Nigeria’s energy sector and improving energy access to communities across the country.
He commended the interest of the US developer to invest in Nigeria’s power sector, stating that the Nigerian government would remain committed to collaborating with the private sector in improving energy access, creating jobs, and industrial development.
Highlighting some of the reforms embarked upon by his administration to address Nigeria’s energy need, the president listed the signing of the Nigeria Climate Change Bill in November 2021, implementation of the Power Sector Recovery Programme with the World Bank, and the Nigeria Electrification Programme aimed at enhancing energy access to remote communities.
Earlier in his remarks, Founder, Sun Africa LLC, USA, Mr. Goran Rajsic, said the renewable infrastructure company hoped to deliver solar power in multiple locations across the country, just as it had done in Angola, with financing done through the US EXIM Bank.
Rajsic pledged that his organisation, working with other leading energy companies, had the capacity to do what Nigeria required in the area of power.
“We will create something that will be of immediate need for Nigeria, and last for years to come,” Rajsic stated.