Nigeria unveils solar power initiative targeting 5m homes

NIGERIA – The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to provide solar home systems to 5 million Nigerian households within the next 12 months, as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan.

The disclosure was contained in an address by President Muhammadu Buhari at the first year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat held recently at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The decision by the government to catalyse investments in solar will significantly enhance access to electricity in a country where 40% of the entire population does not have access to reliable electricity.

According to statistics from the Nigerian government, lack of access to reliable electricity forces many Nigerian homes to resort to small scale diesel generators which are costly and have a negative impact on the environment.

It is estimated that Nigerian’s spend an estimated an estimated $14 billion a year on small-scale generators, funds which could be diverted to other uses if the nation had affordable and reliable electricity.

Solar power however holds enormous promise for addressing Nigeria’s unreliable energy supply. Estimates suggest it could increase the availability of electricity to almost 80 million people who currently have none.

The President who was represented by the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, said that government has already begun the process of providing financing support through the Central Bank of Nigeria for manufacturers and retailers of Off-Grid Solar Home Systems and Mini-Grids who are to provide the systems.

Buhari noted that the initiative will provide jobs to thousands of Nigerians and benefit millions more in terms of increased access to clean and affordable electricity.

 ‘’The five million systems under the ESP’s Solar Power Strategy will produce 250,000 jobs and impact up to 25 million beneficiaries through the installation. This means that more Nigerians will have access to electricity via a reliable and sustainable solar system.’’

H.E Muhammadu Buhari- President of Nigeria

The president further noted that ensuring that the support to Solar Home System manufacturers and the bulk procurement of local meters will create over 300,000 local jobs while ensuring that we set Nigeria on a path to full electrification.

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