World Bank, Nigerian Banks, Others Plan Solar Power For 1m Nigerian Households
The World Bank, International Financial Corporation (IFC) in partnership with some Nigerian banks and energy companies have established the Lighting Africa project, aimed at connecting over one million vulnerable households in rural communities in the country to off grid electricity, using solar energy over the next five years.
The World Bank is catalysing its partners in the project to spread electricity by moving more people to better lighting solutions. They are promoting the use of solar bulbs, lamps, panels and other lighting solutions which are environmentally friendly, safe, affordable, durable and easy to install.
The global financial institutions are linking Nigerian investors and merchants to access loans from commercial banks at World Bank/IFC approved interest rates to source for funds as well as link them to certified global solar energy equipment manufacturers so that they can bring in the solar lighting solutions to those without electricity in the rural and semi-urban areas.
Some of the approved solar power banks companies the World Bank is working with in Nigerian include: Awango by Total, Barefoot Power, DLight Solar, Freeplay, FuturaSun, Greenlight Planet, Little Sun, Niwa, MniVoltaic, Orb Energy and Philips. These companies and many other prospects will access low interest from banks to finance the project.
According to Mr. Fanen Acho, Lighting Africa consultant for World Bank/IFC for English speaking West Africa, the aim is to reduce dependence on the use of kerosene, local lamps, generators and candles for lighting through the use of solar power solutions recharged through sunlight.