The grant will assist the government to achieve its national goals of reaching 75 percent electricity access by 2020

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $1.5-million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) to support the Nigerian government’s implementation of Phase 1 of the Jigawa 1-GW Independent Power Producer (IPP) Solar Procurement Program.

This approval reaffirms the underpinning principles of the bank’s new deal on energy for Africa and its commitment to developing renewable energy and increasing energy access on the continent.

Mercom previously reported that AfDB also recently approved $324 million (~₹20.84 billion) in loan support for two renewable energy projects being developed in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire.

The approved SEFA grant will support the completion of outstanding technical and feasibility studies and the design of a masterplan for the entire program site.

Subject to the outcome of the technical and feasibility studies, the bank will provide additional support to the government in the form of funding of a transaction advisor to design and launch the competitive IPP procurement. The government has committed to de-risking the program through the provision of land and common facilities including transmission facilities.

An intergovernmental team led by Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria will be the implementation agency for the grant.

Commenting on the project, AfDB’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott, stressed that the approval solidifies the bank’s commitment to Nigeria in resolving the chronic power shortage and ensuring increased access to sustainable and cost-efficient power.

At full 1 GW capacity, the program will assist the government to achieve its national goals of reaching 75 percent electricity access by 2020 and electrifying unserved and underserved areas, particularly in northern Nigeria where access rates are lowest and increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix to 30 percent by 2030.

At the inaugural conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) held in March 2018, the government of India pledged $1.4 billion to fund the development of solar projects in 15 African and South Asian countries that are part of the ISA consortium. Of the sanctioned amount, Nigeria was slated to receive $75 million for the development of a 50 MW solar PV project in Bauchi State and to develop solar PV renewable micro-utility (REMU) in six political zones of Nigeria.

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Saumy Prateek Saumy has been with MercomIndia.com as a staff reporter covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.