The US-EXIM Bank has granted Nigeria a $1.5 billion loan to expand the country’s solar power infrastructure in ten distinct sites. Adam Cortese, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SUN Africa LLC, USA, made this announcement to reporters yesterday after a delegation from the company met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.
Cortese explained that the loan was a government-to-government facility at a concessional rate of over 20 years. He said that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), which will be the owner of the assets, will be able to repay the debt as well as produce low-cost electricity.
In His Words
“Once more, this is government-to-government finance,” Cortese said. It is based on our recent success in Angola, where we provided storage and transmission capacity for solar PV systems worth around $2.6 billion. The key thing to keep in mind in this situation, in my opinion, is that while the US-EXIM Bank is lending money to the government of Nigeria, it is doing so at a very favorable concessionary rate and for a 20-year term”
“What makes this approach special is that NDPHC will be the owner of its own assets. Since it will have its own generation base and our project will result in a low cost of power, they will be able to repay the loan from the EXIM Bank and make an additional profit”
President Buhari applauded the US developer’s desire to engage in Nigeria’s power sector and said that the federal government will continue to be dedicated to working with the private sector to increase access to energy, create jobs, and advance industrial growth.
The president of Nigeria listed the adoption of the Nigeria Climate Change Bill in November 2021, the start of the Power Sector Recovery Programme with the World Bank, and the Nigeria Electrification Programme, which aims to improve energy access in rural areas, as some of the reforms his administration has undertaken to address Nigeria’s energy needs.
He further stated that end-to-end alignment along the entire electrical value chain was the goal of the Presidential Power Initiative with Siemens.
“Initiatives like this will go a long way in strengthening local capacity through technology transfer and reducing transmission limitations through the generation and distribution of power in the local Distribution Companies Franchise Area, making off-take easier,” the president stated.