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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently concluded a four-year Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (REEEP) in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event to mark the closing of the project in Lagos, the chief of REEEP, Javier Batencourt, noted that despite the funding challenges faced by the project in 2015 when Nigeria experienced the foreign exchange crises, the sector has received funding from various international quarters in 2017, the Guardian reported.

“In the last year, at least I can tell you that I have seen at least a billion dollars worth of funding promises coming into the Nigeria renewable energy sector and that is a lot,” he said. Read more: USAID completes renewable energy project in Nigeria

Media quoted Batencourt stating that the World Bank is bringing in $450 million; the French Development Agency is bringing in a €100 million ($123 million).

Funding available in local currency

Batencourt further revealed that apart from the international funding, they are also working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to make available funding in local currency.

Though a four-year pilot project, the REEEP has enabled over 16,600 connections generating the 2.5MW through both off and on grid sources.

Batencourt noted that despite funding challenges, few banks like Union bank , Ecobank, Access bank, FCMB and other banks are committed to the sector.

“Other banks are not active because the sector have not been that big , so the incentives for banks to participate, though most are still using their old business model, thus looking after their traditional clients in the oil and gas sector , which are very profitable for them,” he added.