By Olawunmi Ashafa
The Federal Government has taken a significant step toward addressing the country’s power challenges by signing a historic memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch a 1GW Solar PV Manufacturing plant in Nigeria.
The agreement was reached at the ongoing 28th session of Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
In a statement issued by Infrastructure Corporation (Infracorp) on Monday, the agreement signifies Nigeria’s commitment to a sustainable and self-reliant future and its determination to provide reliable energy for its people.
The agreement was initiated by Infracorp led by Dr Lazarus Angbazo, who signed the contract with two partners, Solarge BV of the Netherlands and the African Green Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The MoU is a significant catalyst in unlocking the potential of various economic sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, and education.
During the summit, the Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, who emphasised the importance of adequate energy supply to unlock the country’s full potential, assured the international community that President Bola Tinubu-led government was fully dedicated to fulfilling its promises.
He noted that the current power situation in Nigeria with insufficient transmission infrastructure, limited distribution capacity, and various challenges is hindering electricity generation.
According to him, this development has been responsible for frequent power outages that has continued to affect, negatively, the lives of Nigerians at home and in the work place.
Adelabu highlighted that renewable energy was no longer just a future aspiration but a present necessity.
“We bear witness to the enormous stress on our national grid that continues to trigger power outages that adversely affect the daily lives of our citizens: homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses of diverse scales,” he said.
He added that leveraging the African Free Trade Agreement could position Nigeria as a regional leader in transforming the energy landscape across West Africa and the entire continent.
While commending the Infracorp-led consortium for successfully securing a manufacturing plant in Nigeria, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Olawale Edun, said available data indicates a substantial market size for solar energy in Nigeria and West Africa.
Noting that the co-existence of abundant sunlight and limited energy access in Sub-Sahara, Africa presents a complex and challenging paradox, Edun said the establishment of a solar PV manufacturing plant in Nigeria has the potential to address various socio-economic challenges and bring about positive impact across different sectors.
On her part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, emphasised the importance of industrialisation in addressing various socio-economic challenges, such as job creation, import substitution, increased access to capital, and overall economic growth.
While noting that the MoU would be a significant catalyst for Nigeria’s industrial sector, she stressed that energy infrastructure remained the foundation for innovation, job creation, and prosperity that would pave the way for a brighter sustainable future.
The Chief Executive Officer of Infracorp, Angbazo, said the objective of the project is to revolutionise Nigeria’s energy sector and have a positive impact on various sectors of the economy.
He said the goal is to elevate Nigeria’s economy to $1 trillion through sustainable and climate resilient infrastructure.
He added that, “the project focuses on local manufacturing, green manufacturing and renewable energy, equipment manufacturing, and climate resilient infrastructure.”
InfraCorp is a government-supported infrastructure investment entity established and co-owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
Through Solarge International BV, a leading Dutch manufacturer of lightweight solar panels, an MoU was signed with Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (InfraCorp) to establish a solar panel manufacturing factory in Nigeria. (NAN)
Edited by Folasade Adeniran