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US-based energy finance firm, Nithio disburses first debt facility to Nigerian solar firm

Washington, DC-based energy finance company with focus on the off-grid sector in Africa Nithio Holdings has announced the disbursement of its first debt facility to Abuja based Winock Solar in partnership with Solar Nigeria for

The financial agreement is as a result of a partnership between Nithio and Solar Nigeria, a program funded by UK aid implemented by Adam Smith International that aims to accelerate access to solar power in Nigeria.

Nithio provides financing to off-grid solar energy companies through receivables purchases as well as corporate loans backed by receivables and inventory. Nithio targets a broad range of off-grid solar companies, with initial target markets including Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda and aims to scale beyond in the next five years.

“The successful execution of our first loan agreement is an important milestone in Nithio’s role to provide financing to off-grid solar energy sector,” said Hela Cheikhrouhou, Nithio’s CEO said in a statement seen by BusinessDay.

Utilizing its proven credit scoring algorithms, Nithio has uniquely positioned itself to value off-grid solar companies’ portfolio risk and channel commercial and concessional financing at scale.

Nithio’s CEO said as the off-grid solar companies’ further scale and expands into new markets, Nithio helps investors improve their performance by leveraging geospatial data and predictive analytics to better manage energy users’ credit risk.

“Nithio serves as a conduit that allows investors to provide scalable funding to the off-grid solar sector in Africa, blending concessional and commercial capital to achieve sustainable future growth of the industry,” Nithio’s CEO said.

Nithio supports both multi-country and local off-grid solar energy companies, providing access to much-needed growth capital.

Sanmi Lajuwomi, CEO Winock Solar said the company is excited to partner with Nithio towards providing off-grid solar access to a market of 37 million Nigerian micro-businesses.

Winock Solar is a local company focused on improving energy access and reliability for micro-businesses in Nigeria; the company’s mission is to make solar accessible, reliable and affordable to Nigerian micro-businesses for productive use.

“Lack of access to clean and sustainable energy is the bane of environmental, social and economic sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa. The opportunity is apparent, but the poor availability of data and capital makes it difficult to achieve scale,” Lajuwomi said.

The CEO of Winock Solar noted that Nithio’s predictive data analytics will help Winock Solar and its industry peers to organize their deep knowledge of consumer behaviour and climatic conditions to develop insight that can be utilized by investors and project developers to solve lack of access to energy in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Solar Nigeria program manager Bodunde Onemola said Nithio- Winock collaboration is in line with Solar Nigeria’s goal of expanding the solar market and consequently improving access for under-served households.

Solar Nigeria Programme (SNP) is funded by UK aid and is the largest solar programme in Nigeria. It aims to improve access to clean, affordable energy for poor communities and scale up the private markets for solar solutions. Since its inception in 2014, the Programme has electrified public health and educational institutions across 3 Nigerian estates and has accelerated the uptake of solar energy technology by private households and businesses nationwide.




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