Although Nigeria’s economy has been following a dramatic downward trend lately, the country hasn’t suffered enough economic crisis to not be named among the largest economies in Africa. The country has always indicated potentials to overcome several systemic hindrances that tend to jeopardize its economic growth except for one thing; a chronic shortage of power supply.
With more than 90 million Nigerians living without power, Nigerians are pushed to depend on high maintainance generator sets. The impact of lack of electricity is quite visible in the country since it slows down economic development and discourages investors as power is one of the main factors investors consider before embarking on any investment. That notwithstanding, the pressing situation of power supply in Nigeria might experience a good turn of event as the World Bank, International Financial Corporation as well as local banks and energy firms in Nigeria partner to make the situation less intense by curbing the overwhelming power problem.
The partnership introduces a program termed “Lighting Africa Project” which seeks to help advance a private sector that will make electricity available, using solar power to a million homes in Nigeria. The project will focus mainly on Nigerian homes without access to the national grid in rural communities over the next five years.
World Bank will play a major role in making sure that this program is achieved since it will come up with affordable financing for investors and energy firms among the partnership.
The key goal of the project is to shrink the huge reliance on kerosene lamps and gasoline-powered generators which places Nigerian citizens at different health and environmental risks among other goals.
Taking advantage of solar energy could be a more realistic option to solve some of the country’s power problems as building new national grids could cost more money amounting to billions of dollars than exploring solar energy. Another significant benefit the country is bound to gain in exploring solar energy could be seen in the long-term as alternative clean energy will also add a leg up to help the country meet its determined plan to narrow emissions by as much as 45% by 2030 as part of the landmark climate change deal reached in Paris last year.
For this reason, Nigerian government ordered a soft ban on the importation of small generators popularly called ‘I pass my neighbor’ (the small, blue (sometimes, yellow or red) generators which are mostly used by low-income Nigerians, citing the risky emissions it causes as well as fire hazards. The country also improved its national renewable energy program through an agreement with the United Kingdom in October.