By Sebastine Obasi & Prince Okafor
THE Federal Government’s quest to make electricity available to all Nigerians has received a boost, as the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), and All-On partner to develop, scale up and promote the use of renewable off-grid energy technologies to reach communities not served by existing power grids in the country.
The All-On, USADF collaboration to co-finance innovative Nigerian off-grid energy companies is a partnership to seed up to 30 companies in the country within three years. Under the arrangement, the USADF provides $50,000 in seed capital while All-On also provides $50,000 in convertible debt to each of the selected energy enterprises in the first year. Another set of companies will also enjoy same privileges in the second year and later in the third year.
Speaking at the event held in Lagos, the President/Chief Executive Officer, USADF, C.D. Glin, stated that the $50,000 is a grant aimed at taking care of the risks associated with new businesses.
“To ensure effective management of resources, the beneficiaries will also receive technical assistance from USADF and governance support from All-On. We are proud to partner with All-On to foster the growth of local enterprises to bring power and connectivity to underserved Nigerians. This partnership combines grant capital with private sector funding to support the selected Nigerian energy enterprises with means to grow their businesses, increase access to power and change people’s lives,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria-based All-On, an energy impact investment company backed by Shell, Dr. Wiebe Boer, said: “he biggest challenge hindering Nigeria’s economic and social development is (lack of) access to energy. These off-grid energy companies are introducing innovations that will improve household livelihoods and local economies by providing affordable power to underserved and unserved communities. We are proud to partner with USADF to provide an innovation blend of financing to these companies to enable them to scale up and meet the increasing demand.”
The Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Damilola Ogunbiyi, commended the partners for the innovations they brought to off-grid energy support.
According to her, “this is a remarkable initiative that demonstrates what we already know. That private sector taking a solution-driven role is the only way to provide sustainable power solutions for Nigerians. The federal government through the REA is currently replicating this model of private sector driven power projects through the Nigerian off-grid electrification strategy.”
The beneficiary companies include; Havenhill Synergy Limited, Prado Power Limited, Solmenz Engineering Ventures Limited, A4&T Power Solutions Limited And Darway Coast Nigeria Limited. Others include Auxano Solar Nigeria Limited, Eastwind Laboratories Limited, Alyx Limited, Creeds Renewable Energy Limited and i-Kabin Integrated Resources Limited.