Abuja, Nigeria – Today, Ambassador Stuart Symington, along with Mission Director, Michael T. Harvey from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) visited customers of Lumos, a solar service provider in Nigeria. The visit was a fact finding assessment as USAID works with partners to grow the program.
Currently, 55% of Nigerians lack access to electricity and those that do suffer from extensive power outages. To compensate for this situation, Nigeria is the largest diesel network in the world with approximately 100 million diesel generators in operation nationwide. To help address these energy needs, Power Africa, a U.S government initiative launched in 2013, is supporting both on and off grid solutions to power generation.
In November of 2015, Lumos, a solar power provider for homes and small to medium sized enterprises became a Power Africa Beyond the Grid partner. With market intelligence provided by USAID and financing provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Lumos has added 30,000 new solar connections in Nigeria since the beginning of the partnership.
Ambassador Symington visited Beam Clinic and Maternity Center, Trinity Clinic, and selected retailers to better understand how access to solar energy has improved their businesses and their service to customers. At the clinics, for instance, he learned how solar power allows for longer operational hours and improved ability to respond to emergencies.
“Expanding both on and off grid access to energy will not only help individuals and businesses, but will help overcome some of the obstacles to Nigeria being able to fulfill its full economic potential,” said Symington. “I met a number of people today whose lives have been profoundly changed by access to efficient and reliable energy and I am excited to see this ongoing partnership expand to ensure greater access to solar energy throughout Nigeria.”
To date Power Africa, has mobilized $40 billion in private sector commitments in order to increase access to electricity through both on and off grid generation and distribution projects across sub-Saharan Africa.