Nigeria alongside 18 other Africa countries is set to benefit from a $22.5 million World Bank funding for the regional off-grid electricity access project (ROGEAP) in West and Central Africa.
In a statement released on Friday in Washington DC, US, the World Bank said the intervention is in form of grants from the International Development Association (IDA) and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF).
The World Bank said the project is designed for Nigeria and 18 other countries in West and Central Africa, 15 of which are members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Mali.
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The others are Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad and Mauritania.
“The project will support activities to accelerate the deployment of stand-alone solar products, in a sub-region where 50 percent of the population does not have access to electricity and where less than 3 percent of the population uses such innovative technologies,” the World Bank said.
“It seeks to harmonise policies and standards and business procedures to develop a regional market of stand-alone solar products, support entrepreneurs in business acceleration activities and provide credits and grants for the deployment of stand-alone solar home systems.”
The bank said the project is expected to contribute to human capital development by electrifying public health centers and schools.
“For instance, it will apply in farming communities which can use solar water pumps for irrigation, solar milling equipment for product transformation and solar refrigerators to bring products to market,” the World Bank said.
“The project will support the small and innovative business enterprises through solar home systems and will make an impact in economic recovery, following the coronavirus pandemic.”
The World Bank had, in June 2020, approved a $750 million loan through the IDA to improve the reliability of electricity supply in Nigeria.
In February, the bank also approved $500 million to support Nigeria in improving operations of electricity distribution companies (DisCos).