• Nigeria is considering getting 5 million households in the country a solar home system (SHS) in an effort to help the country deal with the pandemic related economic downturn
  • As per a government plan, the deployment will be done with the help of private sector
  • This will connect around 25 million off-grid residents to the national grid

The Government of Nigeria aims to get solar home systems (SHS) installed for some 5 million households in the country in collaboration with the private sector. This number of SHS would serve about 25 million Nigerians who are not connected to the national grid.

For Nigeria, this is part of the 4-point program recommended in the Bouncing Back: The Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan presented to the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari by Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. It is a result of deliberations by the government to look at ‘what the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic might be on the budget and the economy’.

Apart from SHS, the other 3 recommendations include a mass agricultural program, extensive public works and a road construction programme and mass housing programme.

The entire economic sustainability plan is centered around the theme of ‘produce what we eat and consume what we produce’ with a view to encourage local production to create jobs, and use of local materials. Imports should be resorted only to support local production.

“The key to the success of this plan is undoubtedly ‘implementation’. Making sure that we execute the plan faithfully and working in collaboration. We have therefore recommended that each Minister will be responsible for supervising the implementation of plans situated in their respective Ministries,” said Osinbajo. “Ministers will also be responsible for ensuring synergy between all relevant stakeholders across the public and private sectors.”

Earlier this month, the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a $288.5 million loan to help Nigeria tackle the pandemic and mitigate its impact on people and businesses. Country’s oil earnings have also taken a beating as the Vice president acknowledged the severe downturn in the oil earnings.

As per the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), till the end of 2019 Nigeria’s cumulative installed renewable energy capacity was 2.15 GW of which solar PV’s share was only 28 MW.