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The African Development Bank (AfDB) board of directors have approved a $1.5 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) to support the Nigerian Government’s implementation of Phase 1 of the Jigawa 1GW Independent Power Producer (IPP) Solar Procurement Programme.

According to a statement issued by the Bank, this approval reaffirms the underpinning principles of the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa and its commitment to developing renewable energy and increasing energy access on the continent.

At full 1GW capacity, the programme will assist the government to achieve its national goals of reaching 75% electricity access by 2020 and electrifying unserved and underserved areas, particularly in northern Nigeria where access rates are lowest and increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix to 30% by 2030.

The approved SEFA grant will support the completion of outstanding technical and feasibility studies and the design of a masterplan for the entire programme site.

Subject to the outcome of the technical and feasibility studies, the Bank will provide additional support to the government in the form of funding of a transaction advisor to design and launch the competitive IPP procurement.

The government has committed to de-risking the program through the provision of land and common facilities including transmission facilities.

Commenting on the project, the Bank’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott, stressed that the approval solidifies the Bank’s commitment to Nigeria in resolving the chronic power shortage and ensuring increased access to sustainable and cost-efficient power.

He added: “It is important for us to deliver a seamless implementation and provide necessary support to the government to conduct an effective IPP procurement process.”

An intergovernmental team led by Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria will be the implementation agency for the grant.

African Utility Week