From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have signed a $500 million investment deal boost the country’s renewable energy space.
NSIA Managing Director, Aminu Umar-Sadiq, who stated this during the signing of the agreement, at the weekend in Abuja, explained that the deal is targeted at increasing access to electricity, especially in rural areas, and that the pilot scheme would be located in the Tokarawa Industrial Hub in Kano State.
Umar Sadiq noted that the deal is anchored on diesel displacement, franchising and backward integration towards Photovoltaic system (PV) manufacturing, and will be implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle called the Renewables Investment Platform for Limitless Energy (RIPLE).
He said: “RIPLE has the high hopes of making a huge impact around renewable energy investing and with it, NSIA is positioned to expand energy access, enhance energy efficiency and ensure energy security.
“This is a watershed moment in terms of actualizing some of NSIA’s ambitions in the renewable energy space.”
According to him, NSIA has voted $25 million funding and working with the IFC for the pilot project, hopes to boost additional investments to make up the $500 million funding needed to implement the entire project.
He said: “The ambition of the NSIA and the IFC as it relates to this fund is to scale up and go large.
“We are hopeful that in the course of time, we will begin to feel the impact of the projects that we are co developing, as well as co-executing for the benefits of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
Also, NSIA’s Programme Manager, Yusuf Umar, added the RIPLE was birthed to address the snags bedeviling the country’s energy sector.
“Our experience with the procurement disruptions during the construction of the current solar project necessitated domesticating and strengthening our supply chains.
“An important pillar of RIPPLE is local upstream technology manufacturing.The platform’s focus will extend beyond just solar PV technology to include green hydrogen, waste to energy, mini hydro, and wind as we are seeing very interesting prospects for wind projects in Nigeria,” he said.
On his part, IFC Regional Manager Africa, Dan Croft, explained that the organisation is poised to drive access to energy, security and working with committed investors to develop different projects.
He said: “Reliable electricity is crucial for improving quality of life, productivity, and economic growth in Nigeria.
“IFC is pleased to collaborate with our longstanding partner, NSIA, to develop and implement the first phase of this innovative energy solution which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuel.
“The energy solution will also deliver reliable power supply for commercial, residential as well as industrial use.”