The President Muhammadu Buhari administration, will this week, begin distribution of five million solar system, under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).
It was gathered that under this arrangement, 25 million Nigerians not served by the national grid will pay N4,000 monthly for a three-year period, to own solar systems in their homes.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in the Vice President’s office, Laolu Akande, made the disclosure in response to media inquiries on cost of the project nicknamed SOLAR POWER NAIJA for which installation commences next month.
He said the scheme, being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), had an option of outright ownership by beneficiaries at a cost ranging from N1, 500 per week to N4, 000 monthly depending on capacity, noting that the arrangement allows as many as 25 million Nigerians to own personal solar systems.
As indicated in the economic document, the five million connection is a private sector-led electricity access acceleration scheme to be facilitated by a low-cost loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that would be superintended by REA.
Amplifying advantages of the programme, Akande said besides creation of access to cheap and clean energy, the local solar assembly industry would be impacted positively.
He noted: “The programme will include the assembly or manufacturing of components of off-grid solutions to facilitate growth of the local manufacturing industry.
“In view of the scale of materials required, solar equipment manufacturers/assemblers will be incentivised to set up facilities in Nigeria, thereby offering additional job opportunities to Nigerians. In addition, installation, servicing and payment collections are to provide thousands of other jobs. In all, at least 250, 000 jobs will be created.”
Explaining the role of the World Bank in the project, another Presidency official, who pleaded anonymity, said the global lender would provide grant to finance 20 per cent of the retail cost nationwide.
The source observed that the connection of 25 million new Nigerians to clean energy and implementation of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) were sustainable initiatives to address the nation’s energy crisis.