In Nigeria, the Rural Electrification Fund (REF), which is implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), signed agreements for disbursement of N1.9 billion grant for the execution of mini-grids and solar home systems.
The project is aimed at accelerating development in rural communities by the rapid deployment of an adequate electricity supply.
The grant has been on the books for several years but was not official and funds made available until recently.
Managing Director of the Agency, Damilola Ogunbiyi, said the fund would give grants of varying amounts. According to a fact sheet the grant is going to impact on 19,130 solar home systems.
The total solar home system aspect of the grant, which costs N995,667,434 is being implemented by 14 indigenous suppliers.
The REA said that grant will create over 400 jobs and empower over 43,000 household and businesses that will receive safe and reliable electricity in the rural areas.
Executive Director of the REF, Dr. Sanusi Ohiare recalled the REF was meant to be activated since 2006 but for some reason previous management were unable to actualize it until President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration pushed it forward.
One of the beneficiaries, CEO, Nayo Technology Ltd, Okenwa Anayo, who got a grant of N96.3 million which 50% of the project cost, said: “This will give us the needed soft landing in financing our projects. It gives us opportunity to go further to rural areas to invest in the rural mini-grid.
“This is the best way to fast-track energy for rural people in Nigeria using distributed power.”