The United States energy project known as “Power Africa’’ has added 30,000 new solar connections in Nigeria, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington said in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
The United States, through its Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), had in 2016 signed an agreement with Lumos, an off-grid electricity provider to enhance provision of solar electricity to homes and small businesses throughout Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lumos was also a recipient of catalytic funding through OPIC and the Africa Clean Energy Finance initiative, a partner with the U.S. State Department.
The funding provided crucial start-up capital for 30 innovative clean energy projects across 10 African countries.
The envoy, accompanied by the Director, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission, Mr Michael Harvey, had during a visit to customers of Lumos in Abuja emphasized the need to expand electricity access in Nigeria.
According to him, the visit is a fact finding assessment as USAID works with partners to grow the programme.
“With market intelligence provided by USAID and financing provided by OPIC, Lumos has added 30,000 new solar connections in Nigeria since the beginning of the partnership,” he said.
Symington, who also visited Beam Clinic and Maternity Centre, Trinity Clinic, and selected retailers, said his visit was to better understand how access to solar energy had improved their businesses and service delivery.
The ambassador stressed the need to expand on and off grid access to energy to enhance business activities.
“Expanding both on and off grid access to energy will not only help individuals and businesses, but will help overcome some of the obstacles to Nigeria being able to fulfill its full economic potential.
“I met a number of people today whose lives have been profoundly changed by access to efficient and reliable energy.
“And I am excited to see this ongoing partnership expand to ensure greater access to solar energy throughout Nigeria,” he said.
NAN reports that to date, “Power Africa’’, has mobilized 40 billion dollars in private sector commitments in order to increase access to electricity through both on and off grid generation and distribution projects across sub-Saharan Africa.