FG Targets 340,000 SMEs In 16 Clusters With Off-Grid Electricity Solutions
Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja
The Federal Government is engaging the services of private sector developers to implement the Energising Economies Initiative (EEI).
The programme supports the rapid deployment of off grid electricity solutions to provide clean, affordable and affordable electricity solutions to economic clusters such as markets, shopping centers, and industrial facilities nationwide
OER gathered that while the EEI is being implemented through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), the project is being fully funded by private sector developers.
A release from the REA last weekend, said the project aims to provide electricity access to over 80,000 shops across 16 economic clusters, empower over 340,000 micro, small and medium size enterprises, create over 2,500 jobs while serving over 18 million Nigerians.
Chief Executive Officer of REA, Damilola Ogunbiyi, said the private sector participation is a significant milestone in the financing of the Energizing Economies Initiative. “Since the deployment of off grid electricity solutions at various markets across the country, we are already witnessing positive environmental and economic impacts. This is the sort of intervention we look forward to scaling across Nigeria with support from financial institutions.” He said
The REA is reported to be collaborating with the USAID sponsored programme, Power Africa. Power Africa provides technical advisory support to this initiative, which is already transforming businesses in Sabon Gari market, Ariara market, Sura shopping complex and other economic clusters with sustainable, clean and affordable power supply by increasing economic activities, spurring business growth, fostering job creation and enhancing the business experience.
“Technical advisory is a key pillar of assistance Power Africa provides to Nigeria’s power sector. We are focused on ensuring initiatives like the Energizing Economies are designed and implemented with regulatory, legal, financial, transactional and project management support.” Said the USAID/Nigeria Mission Director, Stephen Haykin
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is said to be fully involved in the EEI project as part of its wider mandate towards ensuring economic development, productivity, macro-economic stability and economic diversification. “Unwavering support has been secured at the Bankers Committee level to support the proliferation of decentralised energy solutions,” the REA said.