From Chidubem Anthony, Lagos
A partnership between the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and All On is funding up to 30 indigenous companies with $100,000 seed capital each to develop, scale up and promote innovative renewable off-grid energy technologies for the unserved and underserved Nigerian communities.
In the project, which has special focus on the Niger Delta region, each partner will co-finance each of the selected energy enterprises in the first year within three years of the project with $50,000 seed capital in convertible debt.
USADF President/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. C.D Glin, disclosed that another set of companies would benefit in the second year and another in the third, with focus to develop local content and boost local participation in the nation’s renewable energy segment.
According to him, the $50,000 grant is meant for the risks associated with new businesses, but “to ensure effective management of resources, the beneficiaries will also receive technical assistance from USADF and governance support from All On.
“We are proud to partner All On to foster the growth of local enterprises to bring power and connectivity to underserved Nigerians,” he said. “This partnership combines grant capital with private sector funding to support the selected Nigerian energy enterprises with means to grow their businesses, increase access to power and change people’s lives.”
On his part, Dr. Wiebe Boer, the Chief Executive Officer of the Shell-backed, Nigeria-based off-grid energy impact investment company, All On, said “the biggest challenge to Nigeria’s economic and social development is access to energy.
“These off-grid energy companies are introducing innovations that will improve household livelihoods and local economies by providing affordable power to unserved and underserved communities.
“We are proud to partner USADF to provide an innovative blend of financing to these companies to enable them scale up and meet the increasing demand.”
Commending the partners for the off-grid energy support innovations, the Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Damilola Ogunbiyi, described it as “a remarkable initiative that demonstrates what we already know, that private sector taking a solution-driven role is the only way to provide sustainable power solutions for Nigerians. “The Federal Government, through REA, is currently replicating this model of private sector-driven power projects through the Nigerian off-grid electrification strategy.”
Photo Caption: All On Chief Executive Officer, Wiebe Boer (left) and President/Chief Executive Officer, United States African Development Foundation (USADF), C.D Glin, during the 2018 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge in Lagos