16 January 2016, Lagos — The Managing Director of Cloud Energy, trading as cloudenergy.com.ng, Mr. Theophilus Nweke, has called on the federal government to consider setting up renewable energy fund for Nigerians, to enable them have easy access to finance that will boost electricity supply to their homes, offices and business premises.
According to him, the call became necessary in order to complement government’s efforts in increasing electricity generation and distribution in the country.
Nweke disclosed in an interview that the population and landmass of Nigeria are so vast that government needed to support alternative power supply like solar energy, in order to get the right volume of electricity that would meet the needs of electricity consumers in the country.
Nweke, who focuses on providing alternative power supply to Nigerians, through cloudenergy.com.ng, by using solar energy, said the federal government, including state government, must begin to see the need to support renewable energy supply in the country, by setting up renewable energy fund that Nigerians could access to enable them connect to alternative power supply, just like it is done in developed countries of the world.
According to him, “government in other regions like Germany, United States, France and China, made a deliberate effort to encourage their citizens to embrace alternate energy, of which solar energy has become the leading source of alternative power.”
He added, “We advocate conservation of energy because it is a scarce resource that needs to be conserved for future use. We advise people to have energy storage system that can store electricity that could be used on a later date, when needed, and there is urgent need for government to support this initiative.”
“Government should therefore create a renewable energy fund and allow people have access to the fund to connect alternative power to their homes and offices, as well as their businesses. The fund will allow Nigerians have easy access to funds that will enable them own solar infrastructure like the solar panels, inverters and batteries and get them installed. Customers have installed this system in the past and they have not experienced power outage for a moment,” Nweke added.
Commending the current government intervention on agriculture, by enabling famers to have access to single digit loans that will support them in farming, Nweke said such gesture should be extended to the power sector, where households could have access to the renewable energy fund, that will enable them purchase solar infrastructure for their homes, offices and businesses.
“Government should ensure that the fund is accessible to workers who are on salaries, so that the loans could easily be recovered at source,” he advised. He explained that there are global funds, which government could access on behalf of its citizens in setting up the renewable energy fund. International agencies are ready to release such funds, if government shows serious commitment to it.
He equally calked on the Bank of Industry to show more commitment in offering financial packages for small and medium enterprises, SMEs, to have renewable energy supply.
“The bank should be able to set up special packages for SMEs that are involved in renewable energy solution. It will enable such SMEs to assemble solar energy batteries and solar panels in the country, thereby reducing the cost of importation of already produced and assembled solar infrastructure. It will not only reduce cost of ownership, but also create employment for Nigerians,” Nweke said, adding, “If this is achieved, Nigeria could develop into a hub for exporting solar infrastructure to other African countries.”
*Emma Okonji – Thisday