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Baobab+ Launches Pay-As-You-Go Solar Power Service In Nigeria

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Baobab+ Launches Pay-As-You-Go Solar Power Service In Nigeria

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Baobab+, the leader in rural electrification in West Africa and Madagascar, has launched its Pay-As-You-Go solar power service in Nigeria.

Baobab+, a Pan-African group already present in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Mali, and more recently in Nigeria and DR Congo, has equipped 240,000 households and served more than 1,500,000 beneficiaries in the past six years.

Baobab+ deployed its activities in Nigeria recently. The distribution of solar products started through Baobab MFI Network (parent company) as a top-up loan for its clients; a dedicated Hybrid green loan for productive use solar systems for Small businesses is also available.

According to Kolawole Osinowo, CEO of Baobab+ Nigeria, the company is in Nigeria to help close the huge energy access deficit. He explained that about eighty-five million Nigerians don’t have access to grid electricity. This represents 43% percent of the country’s population and makes Nigeria the country with the largest energy access deficit in the world.

“This week, Baobab+ has launched our Solar Pay-as-you-go home systems in Alimosho Local government in Lagos and Sango-Ota in Ogun State. In the coming months, it will expand its reach across Nigeria to support the government’s effort in off-grid solar distribution. “I am very happy that Baobab+ is taking this next step, made possible by the incredible work done by our team. We started operations in 2021 with a deep focus on providing top-quality solar products leveraging the Baobab Group Microfinance channel, and now we are set to expand the opportunities with affordable access to these products through our Pay-As-You-Go financing option,” said Osinow.

Baobab+ Nigeria aims to equip over 1 million households and Businesses with solar home systems and productive use appliances within five years. Today, we launched the Biolite 620 Solar Home System and Biolite 5000 Solar Home System with TV. We will continue to expand the product portfolio to cater to our customers’ needs across the country.

Know More About Baobab+

For Baobab+, access to energy is also a springboard to enable every African household to part in the digital revolution. In the countries where the company operates, Baobab+ has been a pioneer in launching a smartphone offer with flexible payment and has equipped more than 90,000 households with digital solutions. Baobab+ Nigeria also launched this new offer in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna, Abuja, and Baobab branches network.

Launched in 2015 and operating in six African countries, Baobab+ is a social enterprise that supports households and micro-entrepreneurs in their energy autonomy and digital access, those products benefit from financing facilities to make them accessible to all and as a prerequisite for later their financial inclusion.

For more information, click on www.baobabplus.com.

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REA Holds Roundtable Meetings With Power Project Developers Under The Energizing Economies Initiative For Effective Service Delivery

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REA Holds Roundtable Meetings With Power Project Developers Under The Energizing Economies Initiative For Effective Service Delivery

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Rural Electrification Agency held a roundtable meeting with Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) Private Power Developers at the Corporate Headquarters on March 24, 2022.

Discussions at the roundtable were centered on identifying implementation gaps, improving service delivery, and strengthening the initiative to achieve the desired goal of providing constant and reliable electricity in economic clusters across the Federation.

The Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) is a Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) initiative being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The focus of the EEI is to electrify economic clusters in Nigeria – which include markets, shopping plazas/complexes, and industrial clusters in line with the FGN’s goal of increasing electricity access.

The REA is mandated to implement the initiative through Technical Assistance to private project developers; this includes identification and audit of economic clusters, facilitation of engagement with key stakeholders, and technical support for project development and operation. Over 300 clusters have been identified for electrification across the country in different phases. So far, over 12,000 shops are now receiving clean, safe, reliable, and affordable electricity supply.

At launch, the Pilot Phase of the Energizing Economies Initiative has commissioned the Sura Shopping Complex Independent Power Project in Lagos State powering 1,047 shops, as well as the Ariaria International Market (Independent Power Project), Aba, Abia State, powering over 4,000 shops.

REA Holds Roundtable Meetings With Power Project Developers Under The Energizing Economies Initiative For Effective Service Delivery

Also, launched were over 6,000 energized shops at Sabon Gari market, Kano State with more connections in the pipeline. The EEI developers were sufficiently represented at the Roundtable, with representatives from Ariaria International Market Energy Solutions (AMES) Limited, Solad Integrated Power Solutions Limited, Rensource Energy Limited, and Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited all present at the REA.

In the course of discussions at the Roundtable, the setbacks faced by the Private Developers as stated by their representatives include; technical and legal solutions to customer bypass, funding constraints, gas unavailability, power shortage, and system collapse due to system capacity, inadequate provision of metering, electricity vending system issues, and challenges with customer service delivery.

The Agency while acknowledging the challenges faced by the Developers, reiterated the need for them to deliver on their obligations as enshrined in their bilateral and tripartite agreements. It emphasized that some obligations are not being met by the Developers in view of the performance of their projects. In addition, some of these challenges are externally induced (such as gas availability constraints). However, many of these challenges are within the Developer’s control and they must do more to mitigate these and get their projects back on track.

The Agency advised the Developers to strengthen their communication culture by proactively updating their customers on key information and/or technical issues in order to keep their stakeholders up-to-date, per time.

While responding to the challenges raised by the Agency, the private developers agreed to step up towards ensuring the issues are addressed and services improved in all affected markets, while such efforts will further serve as mitigation measures in upcoming EEI projects.

The REA pointed out that it is currently conducting Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Exercise on the EEI Markets. The output of the work will help inform REA on how best to support the initiative as well as existing projects.

The Federal Government is keen on the success of the initiative and the REA plans to create an enabling environment where the Private Sector Developer handles all the project delivery steps from inception to conclusion. Deployment is currently ongoing in markets under Phase 1 of the EEI. In 2019, a Tripartite Agreement between Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Green Village Electricity (GVE), and Wuse Market Association was signed for the development of 1MW Interconnected Mini-grid.

The Phase 2 rollout plans are currently in view and conversations have begun between the Developers, State Governments, and other key stakeholders. Baseline Surveys and Energy Audits are currently being conducted for 98 Markets across the country. The Agency is also exploring ways to secure concessionary finance and Technical Assistance to further support EEI Developers.REA Holds Roundatable Meetings With Power Project Developers Under The Energizing Economies Initiative For Effective Service Delivery

ABOUT REA: Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is the Implementing Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), under the Federal Ministry of Power, tasked with the electrification of unserved and underserved communities with the aim to catalyze economic growth and improve quality of life for Nigerians.

The REA is currently administering the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) and implementing the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) and a number of initiatives in furtherance of its mandate: Energizing Education Programme (EEP), Grid Extension (Capital Projects), Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI), Solar Power Naija Programme, Energy for All – ‘Mass Rural Electrification’ and Research and Innovation Hub.

The Agency is responsible for creating an enabling environment for private sector-led projects, which include conducting pre-feasibility assessments, energy audits, enumeration, data analysis, identification of qualified private sector developers, and project stakeholder engagements and community engagements for awareness creation.

To give effect to some of its initiatives, REA has obtained financing amounting to $550 million ($350 million from the World Bank and $200 million from the African Development Bank) for financing the Nigeria Electrification Project, and an additional $11 million for financing the Rural Electrification Fund for the deployment of Solar hybrid mini-grids and solar home systems. These funds will ensure that millions of Nigerians have access to clean, safe, reliable, and affordable electricity.

For further information please contact the Rural Electrification Agency (info@rea.gov.ng)

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Dr. Tinuade Sanda Becomes Managing Director, CEO Of Eko Electricity Distribution Company

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Dr. Tinuade Sanda Becomes Managing Director, CEO Of Eko Electricity Distribution Company

APPOINTMENT OF DR. TINUADE SANDA AS THE MD/CEO OF EKO ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Board of Directors of Eko Electricity Distribution Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Tinuade Sanda as the Company’s new MD/CEO with immediate effect.

This remarkable appointment makes her the first female MD/CEO of the Company.

Dr. Sanda takes over from Engr. Adeoye Fadeyibi was the MD/CEO for four years. She is expected to consolidate on the successes achieved in the past few years while progressively advancing and charting a new course for efficient service delivery and excellent business sustainability.

Dr. Sanda joined the Company in 2013 as the Chief Treasury and Taxation Officer. She later became the Chief Accounting Officer, where she contributed immensely to the company’s growth by implementing revenue generation initiatives and overseeing critical projects.

Dr. Sanda is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Institute of Management Consultants, US, and Institute of Professional Financial Managers, London. She is also an Associate Member of the Risk Management Association of Nigeria and the Institute of Directors, Nigeria. She obtained a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Edinburgh Business School, Herriot Watt University, Scotland, UK, after graduating with a second-class upper in Financial Accounting from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. 

On the 5th of December 2020, she was conferred by the Senate and Governing Council of ICON University of Management Science and Technology, Benin, with a Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Management & Entrepreneurship. 

Dr. Sanda will lead the next phase of the Company’s growth by aggressively reducing ATC&C losses, increasing energy reliability/availability, and improving the Company’s customer satisfaction index.

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Buhari Summons Minister Over Frequent Grid Collapse, Blackout

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Buhari summons minister over frequent grid collapse, blackout

President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, to a meeting over the frequent grid collapse which has led to a blackout across the country.

Recall the national grid collapsed twice within 24-hours last Monday and Tuesday throwing major parts of the country into darkness.

The president is expected to discuss the erratic power supply experienced across the country in recent weeks.

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, announced the development in a statement on Monday.

“President Buhari has also voiced his concern over the frequent power outages, apologising to Nigerians and assuring a quick relief to the situation.”

The president had last week apologised to Nigerians over the petrol scarcity and power outage experienced in the country. Buhari had said the collapse of the national grid was being addressed, adding that “relief is on the way”.

“A dip in hydroelectric generation due to seasonal pressures has coincided with technical and supply problems at thermal stations,” the president had said.

General Manager, Transmission Company of Nigeria(TCN), Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, said a summary of the power generating profiles in the last two months, for instance, clearly shows that fourteen (14) gas-powered generating stations were either not generating at all or had limited generation at various times within the period, further depleting the quantum of power generation available for transmission into the grid on a daily basis.

According to Mbah, power generating stations in this category included; Omotosho units 5 and 6, Olorunsogo units 3, 4, and 6, Omoku units 3 and 6, Omotosho NIPP units 3 and 4, Delta units 15, 17, and 18, Afam VI units 11 and 12, Olorunsogo NIPP unit 3, Ihovbor NIPP unit 2, Sapele Steam unit 3, Sapele NIPP unit 1, Odukpani NIPP units 1 and 3, and Okpai units 11, 12 and 18.

Also, within the same period, Jebba Hydro and Shiroro Power Generating Stations were either out or had limited generation, causing additional loss of 232MW from the grid, while other power generating plants such as  Omotosho units 3and 4, Olorunsogo units 1, Delta units 10 and 20, Afam VI  unit 13, Ihovbor NIPP units 4, Geregu NIPP units 22 and 23 and Odukpani NIPP units 2, 4 and 5, have also been out either on fault or for scheduled maintenance, causing a further loss of about 3,180MW from the grid.

She explained that a combination of the above scenarios has persisted and the total effect on the grid is a persistent low generation, which TCN operators have had to strive to dispatch in a way that will not jeopardize the stability of the grid.

‘‘More recently, from March 1-4 2022, there was generation shortfall due to water management in Shiroro and Jebba hydro with the loss of 307MW and 125MW respectively from both stations. Within the same period, there were fault and technical problems in Egbin, causing 514MW shortfall and in Geregu causing 230MW shortfall, while reported fault at Alaoji NIPP reduced generation from the substation by 263MW.

Gas constraint alone in Olorunsogo gas generating plant reduced generation from the station by 104MW, in the same vein, Omotosho gas lost 102MW and Sapele NIPP lost 263MW.

In Omotosho NIPP, there was a generation shortfall of 233MW and in Omoku a shortfall of 112MW. Two units in Okpai have limited generation due to technical problems causing a 204MW drop in generation and in Afam VI 511MW drop in generation. 

Gas constraint and fault in Olorunsogo NIPP reduced generation by 240MW, Geregu NIPP by 435MW, and Ihovbor by 142MW.  Also, due to gas pipeline pigging, Odukpani NIPP was shut down which caused a reduction of generation by 575MW,’’.

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