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SUNREF €70m green energy financing will make manufactured goods competitive – MAN

A €70 million financing for businesses for green energy projects provided by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-ITF) will help to make manufactured products in Nigeria competitive, some manufacturers have said.

At the virtual launch of the the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF), on Tuesday, the organisers said the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Winrock International, a US-based nonprofit working to improve energy access around the world will act custodians of the fund created to assist manufacturers deal with inadequate energy supply.

Mansur Ahmed, president of MAN, in a speech read by a representative, said the challenge of inadequate electricity supply is hindering the growth and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

“It is the reason why Nigerian manufactured products are not competitively internationally,” Ahmed said.

The president of Nigeria said that the SUNREF project will improve access to reliable energy and promote green energy initiatives through financing of diverse kinds of green energy projects in the country.

“These will have multiplier effect on the growth and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria,” Ahmed said.

The organisation listed the benefits of the project includes access to alternative energy, reduction in energy savings, reduction in negative environmental impact in terms of carbon emission, reduction in cost of production and improved competitiveness.

The opportunity to have access to finance through a project of this nature will scale up investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and deepen the energy mix in the country, the group said.

Saleh Mamman, Minister of Power who was represented on the call by a director in the ministry, commended AFD and the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-ITF) for the initiative and stressed that financing had been a knotty key issue in the development of the renewable energy sector in the country.

It was quite exciting when the donors settled on MAN and Winrock as anchors of the programme as it will go a long way to improve the performance of the Federal Government in fulfilling its obligations under Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13, which speaks to improved energy access and reducing climate change impacts, the minister said.

Through this grant, the SUNREF Nigeria programme will provide technical assistance to support the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), partner banks, and companies in Nigeria towards the development of energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) projects.

In Nigeria where access to energy is far from universal, limited energy security and rising energy prices will likely continue to challenge the growth of Nigerian businesses in the near future.

As a result, increasing the development of green energy is a key condition to a sustainable economic growth by ensuring reliable access to energy as well as enabling businesses and households to seize the opportunities of the ecological transition.

The SUNREF Nigeria programme seeks to improve access to energy through improved access to affordable finance for renewable energy technologies and energy efficient initiatives that will improve lives, increase economic opportunities, and support various sectors such as industry and agriculture.

The SUNREF initiative has been deployed in over 30 countries and successfully supported over 42 projects in partnership with about 70 banks to the tune of about €2.5 billion from the AFD, of which €1.2 billion has been paid

According to the organisation, the benefits of the SUNREF program include targeting entrepreneurs AFD cannot finance directly such as SMEs and individuals, using financial intermediaries as channels for disseminating these types of projects through reliable local counterparts with technical skills, and disseminating technical know-how and good practices through the technical assistance.

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