The World Bank has approval $750 million electricity facility to support Nigeria’s power sector – Politics .

The World Bank has given its approval for a $750 million funding facility dedicated to the Nigeria Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project.

In a statement released in Abuja, the bank outlined that the project, funded by the International Development Association (IDA), will leverage over $1 billion in private capital and additional financing from various partners. Notably, contributions include $100 million from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and $200 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, along with collaboration from partners such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the German Development Agency (GIZ), SEforAll, and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The primary objective of the DARES project is to provide new or improved access to electricity for over 17.5 million Nigerians through distributed renewable energy solutions. The initiative will employ innovative financing approaches to boost clean electricity provision led by the private sector in Nigeria.

As of 2021, over 85 million Nigerians lacked electricity access, with those connected to the national grid facing unreliable and insufficient supply. To bridge this gap, many resorted to costly and environmentally harmful power sources like petrol and diesel generators.

The DARES program builds upon the success of the World Bank-financed Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), which facilitated the establishment of 125 mini-grids and the sale of over a million Solar Home Systems. NEP has already provided electricity access to more than 5.5 million Nigerians and created over 5,000 green jobs in the private sector.

The DARES initiative will empower the Federal Government of Nigeria to coordinate and finance off-grid electrification efforts, supporting states in accessing technical assistance for institutional capacity development and policy frameworks for rooftop solar. The program places a strong emphasis on gender and inclusion, aiming to extend electricity access to disadvantaged female-headed households, women-led MSMEs, and increase the employment of women in the energy sector.

Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, expressed commitment to expanding clean energy access, highlighting the DARES project as the largest single distributed energy project globally. The initiative is expected to benefit millions of underserved and remote Nigerians by deploying standalone solar and mini-grids, replacing hundreds of thousands of polluting and expensive generator sets.

The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adebalu, lauded the DARES program as a revolutionary movement, emphasizing its potential to unlock the off-grid sector’s full capacity and stimulate investments in clean energy solutions. The program is envisioned to close Nigeria’s electricity access gap, accelerating the country’s transition to sustainable, efficient, and economically viable electricity supply through collaboration between the government, private sector, and development partners.

The International Development Association (IDA) serves as the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, offering loans with extended maturities, grace periods, and low-interest rates. The DARES program represents a significant step towards achieving Nigeria’s energy transition targets and fostering empowerment and transformation in the energy sector.

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