Lagos — Nigeria has been named among countries in the West Africa sub-region to benefit from off grid support programme by the World Bank.
The board of the World Bank Group reportedly approved a series of funding for the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) for selected countries in West Africa and the Sahel region.
The funds include $150 million in the form of credit and grant from the International Development Association and $74.7 million contingent recovery grant from the Clean Technology Fund in a bid to assist the West African Development Bank and ECOWAS’ Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency expand off-grid access to electricity for countries.
Among the beneficiaries are: Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The project is expected to benefit about 1.7 million people currently living without electricity connection or with unreliable supply, as well as businesses and public institutions who will use modern stand-alone solar systems to improve their living standards and economic activities.
Coordinating director for regional integration in West Africa, ROGEP, Rachid Benmessaoud said “So far, only three per cent of households in West Africa and the Sahel are served by stand-alone solar home systems, and 208 million people in the sub-region do not have access to electricity, noted
According to Benmessaoud, the project seeks to assist regional policy makers to address barriers to create a regional market for standalone solar systems which is essential to reduce energy poverty in the region.
“The new project will help adopt regional standards and regulations to establish a regional market with harmonised policies that will attract larger market players for the benefit of all participating countries,” Benmessaoud added.