United States for Agency and International Development (USAID) and On All, an energy solution firm, has awarded 10 winners that have demonstrated commitment to the development of off-grid electricity in Nigeria.
The firms announced the winners at the 2018 edition of its summit in Lagos.
The winners are Havenhill, Prado, Solmenz, A4&T, and Darway Coast. The enabling business category includes Auxano, Eastwind, and Alyx. Creeds and iKabin emerged as the recipients in the solar home system category. According to Chuka Umezulora, CEO of Auxano, a company that assembles solar panels locally, “With the award of this blended finance, Auxano is poised to raise its daily production to more than 100 panels and double its staff strength to meet the rising demand.
USAID’s President C.D Glin said: “The firm is proud to partner with All On to foster the growth of local enterprises to bring power and connectivity to underserved Nigerians,” says C.D. Glin, USADF’S President & CEO. “This partnership combines grant capital with private sector funding to support the selected Nigerian energy enterprises with the means to grow their businesses, increase access to power, and change people’s lives.”
He said USAID provided the firms with $50,000 in seed capital while All On provided up to $50,000 in convertible debt to selected energy. In addition to funding, the winners will also receive technical assistance from USADF and governance support from All On, with a view to enable them develop, scale up or extend the use of renewable or off-grid energy technologies to reach communities not served by existing power grids.
Also, All On’s Chief Executive officer, Dr Wiebe Boer, said the ‘’The biggest challenge hindering Nigeria’s economic and social development is access to energy. These off-grid energy companies are introducing innovations that will improve household livelihoods and local economies by providing affordable power to unserved and underserved communities.
“We are proud to partner with USADF to provide an innovative blend of financing to these companies to enable them to scale up and meet the increasing demand.”
Also, one of the winners, Hannah Kabir of Creeds, a solar home system company, said: “The USADF-All On funds will facilitate the scale up of our lease-to-own standalone solar systems to over 100 SMEs in Plateau and Rivers states, with affordable instalment repayments. By transitioning to standalone solar systems, SMEs save up to 50 per cent on daily fuel spend on generators, which can be channeled into growing their business and productive activities.”