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BOI, ALL ON establish N1bn off-grid energy solutions fund

Joy Obakeye

The Bank of Industry (BOI) has partnered with ALL ON on Monday, signed N1billion partnership agreement to finance the Niger Delta Off-Grid Energy Fund to enhance access to clean, affordable and reliable power solutions. The fund will provide local currency debt financing to facilitate the deployment of energy solutions by access-to-energy companies in the Niger Delta at 10 per cent interest rate per annum (with a one-year moratorium) and tenor of up to seven years. Speaking on this development in Lagos on Monday, Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, said the partnership was a result of the bank’s efforts in exploring strategic partnerships with reputable institutions in developing sustainable solutions to facilitate social and industrial development. Pitan said that the fund would provide local currency debt financing to facilitate the deployment of energy solutions by access-to-energy companies in the Niger Delta at 10 per cent interest rate per annum, with a one-year moratorium, and seven years tenor. “As you know, power is a critical resource towards achieving industrialisation and is also a major cost driver for SMEs in Nigeria. “We are therefore particularly pleased with this partnership as the deployment of this fund will provide clean energy at the affordable interest rate and friendly conditions not only to SMEs but also to households and communities in the Niger Delta region of the country,” he said. Pitan said that the fund would stimulate the growth and geographic spread of off-grid energy businesses in the Niger Delta to enable households, SMEs and communities have access to clean, affordable and reliable power solutions. “In the Niger Delta, the majority of the population resides in rural areas and only 34 per cent of these have access to reliable grid power. “The result is that SMEs in the region use expensive and inefficient diesel and petrol generators, increasing their operational costs, families cook with firewood or kerosene while children study with flashlights or candles with the attendant negative health and safety concerns”, he said. Also, Dr. Wiebe Boer, Chief Executive Officer, All On, said that the partnership would encourage off-grid energy companies to deploy in the Niger Delta and address the massive access to energy gap in the region. “We are excited to partner with the Bank of Industry on the Niger Delta Off-Grid Energy Fund because of their reputation as Nigeria’s leading Development Finance Institutions and their deep experience as one of the earliest investors in the Nigerian off-grid energy sector,” he said. According to him, the company’s activities complement available grid power across Nigeria and help bridge the significant energy gap. Boer said that the fund was provided equally by the two institutions, but would be operated by the Bank of Industry.

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