World Bank gives Nigeria 30yrs to repay $350m Rural Power Fund

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The World Bank has given Nigeria 30 years to repay the $350 million it took to fund the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP), which involved the expansion of access and supply of electricity to rural communities, educational institutions and underserved micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

However, the World Bank said the country will get an initial five years’ grace on the repayment of the loan which was approved in June 2017, by the Bank, to be disbursed through its International Development Association (IDA) credit window.

The fact sheet on the loan showed that NEP is to be managed by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and will leverage private sector investments in solar mini grids and standalone solar systems to provide electricity to about 2.5 million people and 70,000 MSMEs.

The loan will also fund the provision of reliable electricity to seven universities and two teaching hospitals under the Energising Education Programme (EEP).

According to the fact sheet, the project comprises of four components. The first component being, solar hybrid mini grids for rural economic development which will be implemented under a market-based private sector led approach to construct, operate, and maintain economically viable mini grids.

The fact sheet also highlighted that the second component of NEP would be stand-alone solar systems for homes and MSMEs, with the intention to significantly increase the market for stand-alone solar systems in Nigeria in order to provide access to electricity to more than one million Nigerian households and MSMEs at lower cost than their current means of service such as small diesel generating sets.

It was noted that the third component of the NEP which is the energising education objective, will provide reliable, affordable, and sustainable power to public universities and associated teaching hospitals, while the fourth component will be technical assistance designed to build a framework for rural electrification upscaling.

The fourth component will also support project implementation as well as broad capacity building in the REA; Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing; and other relevant stakeholders in the industry.

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