SOLAR POWER PROGRAMME WILL GENERATE N7B TAX REVENUES YEARLY- FG.

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The roll out of five million new solar power connections in off-grid communities will generate an additional N7bn in tax revenues annually to Nigeria, the Federal Government has declared.

The programme is also expected to generate $10m in annual import substitution for the country.

The Managing Director of the Federal Government-owned Rural Electrification Agency, Ahmad Salihijo, told journalists on Tuesday that the solar connection scheme would  give 25 million individuals access to electricity through the provision of Solar Home Systems or connection to a mini-grid.

Salihijo, also said the initiative would also help address the challenge of access to affordable finance through a facility of Central Bank of Nigeria.

He said the facility would make low-cost local currency debt available to qualified companies, adding that the programme would increase local content in the off-grid solar value chain and facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing and assembly industry.

He said, “Private companies will be supported to employ more Nigerians to be able to provide services in the area of manufacturing, distribution, installation and other project management and after-sales services.”

“The programme also supports manufacturers and assemblers of solar technology to set up production facilities in Nigeria, in order to support the off-grid energy sector with about 250,000 new jobs.”

“As the implementing agency of this programme under the able supervision of the Federal Ministry of Power, we are delighted that this programme has come to fruition,” he stated.

The REA boss encouraged other stakeholders from government agencies, donor partners and private sector operators to support the agency in achieving the huge task of delivering five million connections to 25 million Nigerians.

-SHARON O

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