Rural Electrification Agency (REA) logo
By Constance Athekame
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has held its first investor matchmaking for the Solar Power Naija Programme to provide opportunity for potential investors to pitch their financial offerings to developers.
A statement from REA in Abuja on Thursday said the event was organised in collaboration with the Power Africa Nigeria Power Sector Programme (PA-NPSP, USAID).
REA said that the event also provided a networking and matchmaking forum that brought together key investors and high-performing developers pre-evaluated by the Solar Power Naija team in the power sector.
The agency explained that the programme was launched as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to achieve the roll out of five million new solar connections in off grid communities.
This programme is expected to generate an additional N7 billion increase in tax revenues per annum and 10 million dollars in annual import substitution.
The objectives of the programme are to expand energy access to 25 million individuals (five million new connections) through the provision of Solar Home Systems (SHS) or connection to a mini grid.
Increase local content in the off grid solar value chain and facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing and assembly industry and incentivise the creation of 250,000 new jobs in the energy sector, it said.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of REA, Mr Salihijo Ahmad, encouraged partnerships to boost energy access in communities.
As the implementing agency for Nigerias off-grid strategy, the REA has been working to support private developers by creating an enabling environment to facilitate investments in various ways, Ahmad stated.
He said that this partnership included access to data, policy support, grants, capacity development, stakeholder management and most importantly financing developers.
The Acting Deputy Missions Director, USAID Nigeria, Mr Stephan Menard, said: I encourage the private developers to take advantage in accessing financing towards improving the lives of Nigerians by delivering sustainable energy access.
On her part, the Head, Solar Power Naija Programme, Barbara Izilien, said that the match making event would build quick partnerships that could lead to new connections.
According to her, the partnership will further count towards the countrys target of electrifying a minimum of five million households, serving a minimum of 25 million Nigerians.
The Solar Power Naija Programme implemented through REA is actively working on catalysing access to financing for developers in the off-grid sector to achieve the programme targets, she said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Gregg Mmaduakolam/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
Source: NAN News