The Federal Government is partnering with Sterling Bank, one of Nigeria’s foremost lenders, and Virtus Energy Solutions Limited to enhance power production for small businesses in the country.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Rural Electrification Agency, Damilola Ogunbiyi, said the project would provide electricity to over 80,000 shops across 16 economic clusters, empower over 340,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and create over 2,500 jobs, while serving over 18 million Nigerians.
“This is a significant milestone in the financing of the Energising Economies Initiative (EEI). Since the deployment of off-grid electricity solutions at various markets across the country, we are already witnessing positive environmental and economic impacts. This is the sort of intervention we look forward to across the country with support from financial institutions,” he said.
Ogunbiyi said the Federal Government, through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), is implementing the EEI, which supports the rapid deployment of off-grid electricity solutions to provide clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity to economic clusters, such as market places, shopping centres and industrial facilities, through private sector developers.
The REA worked in collaboration with USAID-sponsored programme, Power Africa. Power Africa provides technical advisory support to the initiative, which is already transforming businesses in Sabon Gari Market, Ariara Market, Sura Shopping Complex and other economic clusters with sustainable, clean and affordable power supply by increasing economic activities, spurring business growth, fostering job creation and enhancing the business experience.