Nigeria: Govt Begins 5 Million Solar Scheme, Eyes 250,000 Jobs

The Federal Government yesterday launched the Solar Power Naija scheme targeted at providing five million connections that will benefit 25 million Nigerians while creating 250,000 jobs.

At the briefing in Abuja, the Minister of State for power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba, said the programme is to address one of the main challenges to access to energy which is access to finance.

“Under this programme, developers can access funds as low as five per cent interest rate.”

The Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and implementer, Ahmad Salihijo, said Buhari had approved the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to combat effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the solar scheme was part of the package.

“The Solar Power Naija will address the issue of access to financing through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for pre-qualified private companies.”

He said this could create 250,000 jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emission by 20 per cent by 2030.

The Director, Development Finance at CBN, Yusuf Yila, said “If we do what all the stakeholders are supposed to do, it will be the most important programme for solving such challenges. As we speak, we have started receiving applications for the upstream.”

The Technical Lead for the scheme at REA, Suleiman Babamanu, said it’s a N140 billion funding project from CBN. While he said the programme is in three phases, in the first 12 months and first phase, 750,000 connections will be done with 37,500 jobs created.

Babamanu said REA hopes to disburse to the first set of developers by December 10, and have the first connection on December 15, 2020.


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