The World Bank on Tuesday announced the provision of a $350m loan (N107.4bn at the official exchange rate of N307 to a dollar) for the development of rural electrification projects in Nigeria, The Punch reports.
It also announced Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) as the implementing organisation of the federal government that would be in charge of the loan. The global financial institution disclosed this at a press conference that was held during the ongoing ‘Action Learning Event on Upscaling Mini Grids for Low-cost and Timely Access to Electricity’ in Abuja.
Responding to enquiries about the loan, the Country Director for Nigeria, World Bank, Rachid Benmessaoud, who was represented by the World Bank Global Lead, Energy Access, Mr. Mac Cosgrove-Davies, said the $350m loan was given to the federal government, but noted that a lot of the fund would go to the private sector.
Explaining how the $350m loan will be managed, the Managing Director, REA, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, said $100m out of the total sum would be dedicated to mini grid development. She stated that 10,000 mini grids were being targeted by the agency, adding that when completed, the grids would generate about 3,000 megawatts of off-grid electricity.