The Bank of Industry, BoI, has signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) worth $2 million, which will provide solar-powered electricity to no fewer than six communities in six states of Nigeria.
The Acting Managing Director of BoI, Mr Waheed Olagunju, disclosed this at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on cost sharing agreement in Abuja yesterday.
Olagunju said the bank would provide $1.4 million for the scheme, while the UNDP would provide the balance of $600,000.
He said, “This commenced in 2015 with a pilot phase in which the first set of low-cost, off-grid solar electrification projects were deployed in one community in each of the six geopolitical zones, in partnership with GVE Projects Limited and Arnergy Solar Limited.
“The pilot project involved the provision of long-term financing for the installation of micro-grid and stand-alone solar solutions in Bisanti community, Katcha LGA in Niger State, Idi-Ita/Onibambu community, Ife North LGA in Osun State, Kolwa community, Kaltungo LGA in Gombe State, Onono community, Anambra West LGA in Anambra State, Obayantor 1 community in Edo State and Charwa/Chakun communities, Makarfi LGA in Kaduna State. These projects were commissioned in record time between October 6, 2015, and May 24, 2016.
He explained further, “The blend of BoI’s contribution in the sum of US$1.4 million as debt financing for the projects, with UNDP’s grant contribution of US$600,000 will provide the much needed stimulus to scale up the projects in view of the attendant reduction in the cost of deployment and enhancement of its overall viability,”
He stressed that BoI’s contribution and the UNDP grant would be deployed to provide solar energy solution in states where both BoI and UNDP had existing collaboration.
Olagunju said the pilot project scheme in Gombe, Niger, Osun, Anambra, Edo and Kaduna states, was aimed at giving rural communities the opportunity to take control of their energy generation and also pay for only the energy used.
He said BoI was currently in partnership with 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory, while the bank hoped to cover the remaining 16 states. The Country representative of UNDP, Mrs Mandisa Mashologu, who commended BoI for the collaborative effort to reach out to the communities, said both parties would look out for states already partnering with BoI and UNDP.