BusinessDay
Nigeria's leading finance and market intelligence news report.

Emerge at the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon, as Sanwo-Olu Takes Giant Strides towards Affordable Electricity

Lagos State Government has unveiled the two winners of the 3-Day Final of the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon – Team Power Bit Crunchers in the hardware category and Team Zeena Platform in the Software group; the two winners earned the combined prize money of N10 Million.
Launched on July 30th, 2020 by Lagos State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon is an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources aimed at providing affordable electricity meters to the populace by facilitating the design and production of meters to improve energy distribution, monitoring and prevention of revenue leakage.
The Hackathon received 274 registrations – 127 in the hardware category and 147 in software group. Impressively 65 hardware and software prototypes were submitted by applicants.
The winning solutions are now proceeding to the co-creation stage and thereafter, commercialisation.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued Guidelines for the Implementation of the Solar Connection Facility
The Central Bank has issued guides for the $2 Billion Solar Connection Intervention Facility which complements the Federal government’s effort of providing affordable electricity to rural dwellers through the provision of long-term low interest credit facilities to the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) pre-qualified solar value chain players that include manufacturers and assemblers of solar components and off-grid energy retailers in the country.

Read also: Shell employees launch N82m free feeding programme at isolation centres

The solar connection Scheme is a Federal government initiative whose objectives are to expanding energy access to 25 million individuals (5 million new connections) through the provision of solar home systems (SHS) or connection to a mini grid; increasing local content in the off-grid solar value chain and facilitating the growth of the local manufacturing industry; and incentivizing the creation of 250,000 new jobs in the energy sector.
Funding per project is not expected to exceed 70 percent of the total cost of the project. For the upstream participants (manufacturers), a maximum tenor of up to 10 years at an “all-in” interest rate of not more than 9 per cent per annum. However, as part of the Bank’s Covid-19 relief package, the interest rate to be charged up to 28th February, 2021 is not expected to exceed 5 per cent per annum.
For downstream participants (solar home systems (SHS) and mini grid project developers) tenors of between 5- 7 years (depending on the nature and cash flow stream) and interest rate of 10% are expected.

SUNREF Launches the $81m Fund for Renewable Energy Projects in Nigeria
The Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) has launched its $81 Million technical assistance facility for the development of green energy projects in Nigeria.
SUNREF is a green financing line for businesses developed by the French Development Agency (AFD) funded by the AFD and the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-ITF).
It is composed of a $70 Million low-cost debt financing and a $11 Million grant facility that seeks to improve access to energy through improved access to affordable finance for renewable energy technologies. It is supported by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), and isexpected to be disbursed by partners banks such as Access Bank and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to companies in Nigeria toward the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Lumos secures $35 million solar investment to power one million people in Nigeria
Lumos, one of Africa’s biggest solar home system provider, has announced new financing from U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to expand its existing market in Nigeria.
The new financing will enable Lumos to provide an additional 160,000 systems to meet the ever-increasing demand from homes and businesses across the country where it currently has a majority of the market share.
This DFC financing announcement follows funding from Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO, announced in August 2020, that is expected to more than double Lumos’ customer base in Côte d’Ivoire.

Auxano signs investment deal to raise $1.5 Million to expand its Solar Panel Assembly Plant
Auxano Solar Nigeria Limited has signed a funding deal of $1.5 Million with All On (Shell-funded impact investment company) to scale its operations over the next five years.
The local solar panel assembly sector became even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic when existing supply chain structures were disrupted. They were able to survive, and customers were able to purchase goods in Naira rather than foreign currency—a trend Auxano’s expansion is expected to make more viable.
The new funding is a blend of equity and debt that will support the increase of Auxano’s capacity, facility relocation and the working capital financing needs of the rapidly growing company.

About the author:


Name: Ujunwa Ojemeni
Title: Energy & Development Finance Executive
Ujunwa Ojemeni is an energy expert, a development finance executive and gender inclusion advocate in the energy sector with an aim to help Africa achieve SDG 7 by 2030.
At the Office of the Honourable Commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources Lagos State, she drives policies, investments opportunities and implementation strategies to deliver reliable energy to the citizens of the State. She is also an Advisor with the Private Finance Advisory Network (PFAN) and has coordinated several gas and power development opportunities as well as energy funds worth over $400 Million. She was selected as one of 60 young African Clean Energy Leaders by Enel Foundation, and a finalist at the IFC Sustainability Exchange Youth Innovation Contest in 2019.
Ujunwa is the founder of African Women in Energy Development Initiative (AWEDI Network). She has spoken on several regional and international platforms including: MIT Solve 2020, ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum in Accra, West Africa Power and Energy Cooperation Conference in Dakar. Her articles have been published both locally and internationally by Forbes, Devex and Business Day.
She holds a Master’s degree in International Development – Development Finance and a first-class degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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