Nigeria: Infracorp signs MoU for 1GW solar panel plant

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The Nigerian government has signed a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a gigawatt (GW) solar PV manufacturing plant, marking a crucial move to tackle the country’s power challenges.

The agreement, finalized during the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, underscores Nigeria’s dedication to a sustainable and self-reliant future, emphasizing a concerted effort to enhance power efficiency.

The agreement, facilitated by Infrastructure Corporation (Infracorp) under the leadership of Dr Lazarus Angbazo, involves the partnership of two entities, Solarge BV of the Netherlands and the African Green Infrastructure Investment Bank. This signing is poised to act as a crucial catalyst, unlocking potential across diverse economic sectors like agriculture, healthcare, and education.

At the summit, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, emphasized the importance of adequate energy supply for a country to unlock its full potential and assured the international community that President Bola Tinubu-led administration was fully dedicated to fulfilling its promises.

He emphasized the dire state of Nigeria’s current power situation, highlighting challenges such as inadequate transmission infrastructure, limited distribution capacity, and various obstacles impeding power generation.

Adelabu highlighted that renewable energy was no longer just a future aspiration but a current 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 Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) would 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 the plant, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Olawale Edun, said available data indicates a substantial market size for solar energy in Nigeria and the West Africa region.

Highlighting the complex paradox of abundant sunlight resources coexisting with limited energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa, Edun emphasized that the establishment of a solar PV manufacturing plant holds the potential to address various socioeconomic challenges and bring positive impacts across different sectors.

Angbazo said the objective of the project was 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.

“The project focuses on local manufacturing, green manufacturing and renewable energy, equipment manufacturing and climate resilient infrastructure,” he said.

InfraCorp, a government-backed infrastructure investment entity co-owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), spearheaded the historic memorandum of understanding to launch a gigawatt (GW) solar PV manufacturing plant in Nigeria.

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