Lumos Global is awarded a grant from the SolarNigeria Programme, a DFID initiative, to drive affordable power access in Nigeria

ESI Africa | April 2016

Netherlands-based off-grid electricity provider, Nova-Lumos, has been awarded a $218,745 grant from the SolarNigeria Programme (SNP), an initiative of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), implemented by Adam Smith International.

The partnership between Nova-Lumos and SNP will help accelerate an estimated 90 million off-grid homes and small businesses in northern Nigeria, to access clean and affordable electricity.

Solar initiative connected to pay-as-you-go system

In a company statement, Nova-Lumos explained that this system provides a home with a solar panel linked to an indoor connections unit, which enables the customer to access significant amounts of power on demand, day or night.

“With mobile payments, users transfer small amounts via SMS for the affordable, pay-as-you-go system.

“The Nova-Lumos model is highly scalable, in large part due to its partnership with MTN, Nigeria’s largest cellular provider, which enables the service to expand across all parts of Nigeria,” the company explained.

Leigh Vial, head of consumer markets for SolarNigeria explained: “Millions of Nigerian households could today save money while enjoying bright light and clean power using solar instead of kerosene lanterns and small generators. So why do they not already use it?

“They need someone trustworthy to make quality solar products available to them in their village, and they need to be able to pay for it over time. This requires capable companies to invest in the market, to reach the customers, and to enable financing.”

Securing financial grants

The company explained that this SolarNigeria grant, complements the recent $15 million financing the company secured from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, which is being used to fund the deployment of over 75,000 systems across Nigeria in 2016.

Adding that the Nova-Lumos finance constitutes the largest OPIC investment to the off-grid power sector in Africa.

David Vortman, CEO and Co-Founder at Nova-Lumos, said: “We are grateful for the grant from SolarNigeria and excited about this relationship with DFID, which will enable us to accelerate our growth in northern Nigeria and improve millions of lives.”

He added: “Backing from an institution such as DFID provides a vote of confidence in Nova-Lumos’s innovative technology and our unique business model. We look forward to expanding our impact in Nigeria and elsewhere on the continent.”

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