IFC Partners DFID to Improve Access to Electricity for SMEs in Nigeria


Ejiofor Alike

A member of the World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) have announced a partnership to facilitate the deployment of off-grid and embedded solar systems solutions in commercial and industrial sectors in Nigeria.

The objective of the collaboration is to help corporate and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to have better and more access to electricity through the utilisation of the country’s abundant solar resources.

According to the two institutions, their joint efforts would contribute to Nigeria’s sustainable economic growth and greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives.

Speaking in Lagos recently during a sensitisation of solar systems stakeholders, the DFID Nigeria’s Head of Office, Ben Mellor stated that the UK Government is committed to helping to increase investment in off-grid energy and accelerating the delivery of solar energy systems that will help improve access to energy for more businesses.
“As access to energy is one of the most critical business needs in Africa and particularly Nigeria, the UK’s Department for International Development is determined to assist in bringing solar technology financing solutions to smaller businesses and corporate and we are working with IFC to help implement these solutions,” Mellor said.
On her part, the IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, EmeEssien Lore said IFC had been at the fore, creating and facilitating solutions to help increase access to energy at the home and corporate levels in Nigeria.

“The solar market has the potential for quick wins in bringing access to electricity for more businesses as it takes less time to install. It also enables production of electricity at the point of need, which eliminates transmission losses to a great extent. We are working with DFID to accelerate access to electricity for more businesses and help contribute to economic growth in the country,” she said.

According to her, IFC has financed close to $3.5 billion in renewable energy projects worldwide, including biomass, geothermal, hydro, solar and wind.

She further stated that the programme is part of the World Bank Group’s Energy Business Plan for Nigeria, where each World Bank Group institution – IFC, IBRD and MIGA – leverage their competences and products to provide solutions for projects that encourage the viability and contribute to the sustainability of the power sector.
Through the partnership between IFC and DFID, IFC’s off-grid and embedded solar market development and finance programme and DFID’s solar Nigeria programme are launching a new programme in Nigeria for solar market development and finance. One of its major components will be to provide technical support and possibly financial support to local financial insistutions.

This will help them develop business solutions for the emerging solar market especially solar PV technology investments in Nigeria. The programme is being launched at a workshop that will share market study findings, present key components of the programme implementation phase, and collect feedback from stakeholders.