|Eme Essien Lore
Photo Credit: financialnigeria
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria would benefit from solar energy programme being put together by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Department for International Development (DFID) and local financial institutions.
Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, IFC, in an interview in Lagos, said the IFC was partnering DFID and banks in Nigeria to achieve this goal.
Lore said IFC through its off-grid and embedded solar market development and finance programme, would provide solar power to willing SME owners.
She added that the programme ensures that IFC, DFID, and banks in Nigeria collaborate to provide technical and financial support for owners of SMEs that are interested in accessing solar power for operation.
According to her, the banks, through their Energy or Oil and Gas units, would disburse loans to SMEs, in order that they could access solar electricity for their operation.
She said some selected local financial institutions would be used by the IFC to provide technical and monetary supports to owners of small and medium scale enterprises in the country, adding that the Corporation was undertaking the programme for SMEs owners because it was cheaper and easy to install when compared with coal, biomass, the wind and other renewable energy sources.
Lore said IFC was working with the Department for International Development to improve access to electricity and further contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
In her words, “IFC plans are to provide thousands of SMEs with solar energy, improve economies and create employment opportunities in Nigeria and Africa in the next 10 years. We intend to make use of the abundant Sunlight in Africa to achieve our goal of providing off-grid electricity through solar energy. IFC has provided about $3.5billion for renewable energy projects such as biomass, hydro, solar and wind, globally and wants to do more.
She added, “Through solar energy, people produce electricity they need and reduce transmission losses to a great extent. In the grid method of power generation electricity there are huge transmission losses due to weak facilities and to avert the losses, a lot of money and expertise are required.”
The DFID’s representative in Nigeria, Ben Mellor, said the government of United Kingdom (UK) was interested in improving off-grid electricity in Nigeria to promote growth.