The Solar Connection Facility (known as the Solar Power Naija Program) (the Program) is one of several key initiatives forming part of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), developed by the Economic Sustainability Committee created by President Muhammadu Buhari at the end of the first quarter of 2020. NESP initiatives are primarily intended to address the economic challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, enhance government revenues, provide support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and create jobs.
The Solar Power Naija Program is a ₦140billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention facility intended to expand energy access to 25 million Nigerians, by enabling 5 million new, solar-based electricity connections in communities that are not connected to the grid. The Program is expected to support: (a)the deployment of solar home systems (SHS), (b)the construction of, and connections to, mini-grid facilities, (c)the increased utilisation of local content within the Nigerian off-grid, solar value chain, (d)the growth of domestic manufacturing of solar generation components, and (e)incentivise the creation of approximately 25,000 new jobs in the off-grid, electricity supply value chain.
The Program is being administered by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) which is responsible for, amongst other things, obtaining necessary approvals for the Program, providing appropriate institutional arrangements for its implementation, and joint monitoring of the funded projects.1
In September 2020, the CBN issued “the Framework for the Implementation of the Solar Connection Facility” (the CBN Guidelines) which outlines the types of facilities available under the Program, principal financing terms and eligibility criteria for participation in the Program.