IFC, DFID Partner to Improve SMEs’ Access to Electricity

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International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) are partnering to facilitate the deployment of off-grid and embedded solar systems in commercial and industrial sectors of Nigeria.

According to an official of IFC, Ejura Audu,  the ultimate goal was to help corporate organisations and small and medium scale entrepreneurs (SMEs) to have better and more reliable access to electricity, utilising the country’s abundant solar resources.  He added that this would contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth and greenhouse gas emission reduction.

Through this deal, IFC’s Off-Grid and Embedded Solar Market Development and Finance Programme, and DFID’s Solar Nigeria Programme will launch a new programme for solar market development and finance.

One of the major components of the partnership is the provision of technical support and financial instruments to financial institutions.This will help them develop business solutions for the emerging solar market, especially solar PV technology investments in Nigeria.

The programme is being launched at a workshop that will share market study findings, present the key components of the programme implementation phase, and collect feedback from stakeholders.

DFID Nigeria’s Head of Office, Ben Mellor, said: “The UK Government is committed to helping to increase investment in off-grid energy and accelerating the delivery of solar energy systems that will help improve access to energy for more businesses. As access to energy is one of the most critical business needs in Africa, particularly Nigeria, the UK’s Department for International Development is determined to assist in bringing solar technology financing solutions to smaller businesses and corporates,  and we are working with IFC to help implement these solutions.

“IFC has been at the fore, creating and facilitating solutions to help increase access to energy at the home and corporate levels in Nigeria,” said Eme Essien Lore, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria.

“The solar market has the potential for quick wins in bringing access to electricity for more businesses as it takes less time to install. It also enables production of electricity at the point of need, which eliminates transmission losses to a great extent. We are working with DFID to accelerate access to electricity for more businesses and help contribute to economic growth in the country,” she added.

The programme is part of the World Bank Group’s Energy Business Plan for Nigeria where each institution in the World Bank Group (IFC, IBRD and MIGA) will leverage their competencies and products to provide solutions for projects and sustain the power sector.

Over the past three years, the IFC has financed close to $3.5 billion in renewable energy projects worldwide, including biomass, geothermal, hydro, solar, and wind.

Source: The Nation

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