UK to take 5m Nigerian homes out of darkness in 4yrs

The United Kingdom said it wants to provide about 5 million Nigerian homes without any electricity supply, solar lighting systems that will allow them do at least simple electricity chores.

It said it has budgeted £13.1 million to do this under its Solar Nigeria programme, adding that it has a target date of 2020 to accomplish this.

A statement from the communication lead of Solar Nigeria in Abuja, Charlie Knight, explained that under the programme, more than 140,000 Nigerian households have acquired small solar light and power systems in the first nine months of 2016.

The statement noted that these solar lighting systems were obtained from 16 companies supported by the Solar Nigeria Programme.

“These high quality plug-and-play solar systems range in size from single bright lamps through to full Solar Home Systems that power multiple lights, televisions and fans.  Households paid the full costs without any subsidy on the price. They paid cash, took out loans, or rented the systems,” said the statement.

It equally stated that the small solar powered systems provide brighter light and reliable power at lower cost than kerosene lanterns and small petrol generators.

This strong value, it added means that despite turbulence in the Nigerian economy, the market has grown strongly this year.

Quoting Leigh Vial, Solar Nigeria Consumer Markets programme Lead, the statement said: “When people are offered these quality solar light and power solutions by trusted suppliers they quickly become interested and want a system of their own.”

“The challenges are to help capable suppliers raise enough money to reach more customers, and to enable more customers to pay for their solar power over time.

“Our mission is to accelerate growth in this market by helping capable providers of solar solutions and finance, to reach more customers faster,” added Vial.

It said despite the massive efforts underway to increase the capacity of Nigeria’s centralized and decentralized power supply systems, millions of Nigerians will remain without access to modern, reliable energy for years to come.

“This is where small solar light and power systems come in – they enable immediate access to improved services at lower cost. Solar Nigeria aims to help 5 million Nigerian homes access small solar systems by 2020. To achieve this the UK government’s Department for International Development has approved an additional £13.1 million for the Solar Nigeria Consumer Markets Programme,” it added.