To bridge the nation’s power needs and reduce environmental pollution, the Agence Francaise de Developement (AFD) has staked about $70m to fund renewable energy and efficient energy projects in the country.
This fund, according to its promoters, would guarantee electricity supply to over 80 million Nigerians who are currently without power supply.
Member, Project and Structured Finance, Sub Sahara Africa, Access Bank, Chukwudumije Igwe, said this at the second edition of Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) Nigeria Programme Investors’ Conference. In Lagos.
The $70m was to be jointly disbursed by the Access Bank Plc, and the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Igwe stated that SUNREF was committed to sponsoring projects that were innovative, technically eligible, energy efficient and renewable.
“SUNREF is a fund that has been made available by the AFD to back renewable and energy efficient projects.
“Access Bank is one of the disbursing banks and we are looking forward to reviewing and accessing projects that meet eligibility and the risk criteria.
“The total size of the fund is $70m and it has been shared between Access Bank and UBA. And we are looking for eligible projects to disburse this fund to,” he said.
Team Lead, SUNREF Nigeria, Javier Betancourt, said access to finance to fund renewable energy projects required long-term financing was not available in the country.
He, however, pointed out that the sector had become a more important subject one hence the involvement of banks in the matter.
“The $70m is largely not enough, but good for a start because what Nigeria needs is in billions because over 80 million people in Nigeria are without electricity, while the remaining 100 million are somewhat electrified.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Industrial Development, John Opaluwa, reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to attracting investors into the country to boost industrial activities and economic growth.
The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed, said that the poor state of energy service over the years had constrained the manufacturing sector, leading to its low level of competitiveness globally.
Ahmed, while welcoming the initiative, said it would reduce the cost of doing business in the country, and urged manufacturers to take advantage of the funding facility.