Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Solar Nigeria, a solar power initiative of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID) has disclosed that businesses it supported have been able to provide more than 92,000 Nigerian homes with solar lighting or power systems between January and June 2016.
The programme said more than 45,000 of these homes are however located in states within northern Nigeria, and that all the systems were supplied on full commercial terms, with the householder paying cash, taking a loan, or renting the equipment.
According to a statement from the programme’s communication officer, Genevieve Bosah in Abuja, the solar systems include everything from single bright lamps through to solar home systems that are able to power multiple lights, a television and fan in homes they were deployed.
It said the result has kept pace with the record that was set in the first quarter of 2016 when 49,000 homes received solar lighting or power systems through the programme.
“It brings the total of homes equipped with support from Solar Nigeria and its partner programme Lighting Africa to 182,000 since mid-2015,” said the statement.
The statement explained that Solar Nigeria works to build Nigeria’s market for decentralised solar energy by removing market barriers through targeted grants to qualified solar suppliers and finance institutions, so they can build capacity and provide solar systems to consumers on commercial terms.
It quoted Leigh Vial, Solar Nigeria’s consumer markets lead to have stated that: “Expansion of this market represents by far the fastest route for increasing the share of Nigeria’s population that have access to modern energy.”
The programme, the statement added, has its first 16 partners selected through a competitive process in 2015, and they include a mix of international and Nigerian firms.
Similarly, the statement quoted the communications manager at Total Nigeria Plc, Osaki Enumro to have stated: “For instance, in Kano, Kaduna, and Adamawa states, Solar Nigeria support helps Total Nigeria Plc distribute its Awango solar products to customers in remote locations, thanks to a partnership with the Murtala Muhammad Foundation to organise resellers’ clubs.
“Funds from Solar Nigeria funds help defray risk so that resellers are supplied on 100 per cent credit terms. You have to find ways to go to communities with a last-mile strategy; that is what this resellers programme is all about.”
It noted that a new round of grants, focusing on financial institutions was underway, with recipients expected to be announced in the coming weeks.