Nigeria concedes DRE market to private financiers, pledges improved policies

Nigeria’s federal government has disclosed it would provide the best policy measures required by project developers and financiers to grow the distributed renewable energy (DRE) market in the country, and help it improve access to electricity to millions of the country’s citizens currently without any.

More than 50 per cent of Nigeria’s 180 million people do not have access to grid electricity, placing her amongst countries with the lowest electricity access across the globe.

While government-funded grid electricity projects that could advance such access to electricity have failed to come through on account of corrupt procurement processes and project delays, the country has however stated its desire to grow this access through DRE.

Buttressing its pledge to the sector, the permanent secretary in the ministry of power, Mr. Louis Edozien, stated at the recent ‘call to action’ initiated by global DRE advocacy network, the Power for All in Abuja, that Nigeria would protect and provide tangible supports to private investors in the DRE market.

“Government expects private investors to take the lead and grow the sector with government policies enabling their investments.

“However, government must keep in mind that quite at times when private investors are operating in an environment where policies are evolving, they tend to behave like sheep and you tend sheep for a while until it ventures out, and I think if one of you ventures and sees the grass is quite green outside the pen, then others will follow and so I encourage you to take advantage of the policies, partner with the government and grow this industry,” said Edozien.

Growth in the DRE sector is however propelled by the commitments and actions of private sector financier and project developers, but the government has said it would reward these efforts with improved business rules.

Accordingly, the call to action by Power for All was initiated to strengthen commitments to accelerate DRE deployment in the country.

It represented the first-ever stakeholders’ recommendations on how the country’s DRE market could progress, as well as their willingness to fully participate in its development.