The African Development Bank (AfDB), on Friday, said its managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), has approved a $500,000 grant to support the development and launch of the Nigeria Energy Access Fund (NEAF).
NEAF, a new private equity fund developed by All On, a Nigerian impact investment firm financed by Shell will make strategic investments in sustainable energy in the country, particularly in its burgeoning off-grid and mini-grid sectors.
The first of its kind, the fund will provide eligible projects and businesses with equity solutions that are currently unavailable in the market, while the SEFA grant will support specific work streams to set NEAF in motion and enhance its engagement with private and public sector investors.
The statement by Emeka John-Kingsley Anuforo, of the AfDB’s Communication and External Relations Department, quoted Wale Shonibare, AfDB’s Acting Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth as saying “Nigeria requires bespoke and innovative market-based solutions to provide its off-grid population, estimated at 100m, access to sustainable sources of energy.
“The SEFA grant will be instrumental in the constitution of NEAF, and ultimately, the mobilization of much-needed private sector investment for the sector,” he added.
When operational, the NEAF is expected to complement AfDB’s wide range of sustainable energy initiatives currently being implemented in Nigeria.
In November 2018, the bank’s board approved a $200m package to support the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), designed to help scale-up green mini-grid solutions with subsidies, among other measures.
In May 2018, SEFA approved a $1.5m grant to support the first phase of the Nigerian government’s Jigawa 1-GW Independent Power Producer Solar Procurement Program.
SEFA’s support to NEAF, the statement continued, is aligned with the New Deal on Energy for Africa and the Bank’s High 5 priorities, especially ‘Light Up and Power Africa’ and ‘Improve the Quality of Lives of Africans.’ The project conforms with the Bank’s Energy Sector Strategy and will boost the Nigerian government’s power sector recovery plans.