AFP Supports Access to Renewable Energy with €70m
The Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) is supporting access to renewable energy for Nigerian manufacturers with €70 million under the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) Nigeria Programme for renewable energy.
The fund would be administered through the Access Bank Plc and the United Bank for Africa Plc.
However, only renewable energy projects like solar, wind, small hydro, biomas including waste-to-energy power plants would be eligible for funding under the SUNREF initiative.
The AFP described energy efficiency projects (EEP) as capital expenditure projects that would allow energy consumers to use less energy for achieving the same level of energy service.
The AFP made this known during the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency investors’ virtual conference that was held on Wednesday, in partnership with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), which is a technical assistance programme co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Government and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Power and All-On of the Shell Foundation.
The conference was aimed at enabling the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) to understand the SUNREF’s technical requirements, equipment and installation quality standards, self-regulatory initiatives and certification for industry practitioners.
The President of the Nigerian Manufacturers Association (MAN), Mr. Mansur Ahmed, who participated in the conference, described the financial and technical assistance offered by the SUNREF as significant opportunity that came at a time, “we needed it most more than ever” to address one of the most militating factors against industrial development of Nigeria.
Mansur said: “Clearly, this is the time for every effort to shore up the manufacturing sector is very welcomed. Therefore, I am delighted that this green energy project is focusing on renewable energy in improving energy efficiency.
“It is our hope that our members will take the full advantage of this facility and be able to diversify their energy sources, improve energy consumption and be able to expand their productive capacity, which is indeed very important in the current state of our economy. I, therefore, urge our members to take full advantage of this.”
The Country Director of the AFP, Ms. Virginie Diaz, said in her opening remark during the conference that the SUNREF would basically provide financial and technical assistance “aimed at supporting business strategies in the green energy sector in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which Nigeria has been supportive of.”
Also, the Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Ms. Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, said the conference would enable investors and service providers to showcase their products and be able to develop relationships with clients and prospective investors in Nigeria.
She added: “I will like to highlight that this collaboration is an innovative financing and project that will help to address Nigeria’s energy gaps by mobilising foreign investments to finance green power projects.”
The SUNREF Nigeria Team Lead, Mr. Javier Betancourt, described SUNREF as integrated environmental finance that is dedicated to developing renewable energy in Nigeria.
Betancourt said in his presentation during the conference that the AFD has put in place targeted support to develop innovative green financing through dedicated credit lines through local financial institutions in the country.
He said: “The SUNREF is part of the broader initiative to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as the sustainable use of natural resources.”
According to the Chief Executive Officer of All On, Dr. Wiebe Boer, the mission of the SUNREF is to bring the members of the MAN into the green energy fold.
Boer observed that any opportunity to address the significant gap that exists in access to energy in Nigeria would have considerable economic and social impacts.
Trove Reassures Customers Of Commitment To All Local Law And Regulations
Following the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warning against the proliferation of unregistered online investment and trading platforms, Trove reassures customers of commitment to all the local laws and regulations.
In a statement released this evening, the CEO of Trove, Oluwatomi Solanke, said, “as communicated earlier, Trove strives to maintain good standing with all existing compliance requirements and regulatory frameworks.
“We are delighted to announce that Trove has taken the necessary steps to register with the Nigerian Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) for the SEC recommended license and remains in active communication with the SEC.
“The SEC continues to be proactive in our nascent industry and we applaud the regulators for being very supportive of the technological developments and innovations in the space. Further, we are delighted that the SEC has been forthcoming in receiving our input as it builds a robust regulatory framework. We specifically would like to thank you for your patience over the past couple of weeks.”
He further affirmed that Trove will continue to work with the SEC to protect, educate and build investor confidence through our platforms, as we simplify investing and promote economic empowerment.
Airtel Africa to Borrow Another $500 Million Loan
Airtel Africa, one of the leading telecommunications companies in Africa, said it has signed a new $500 million loan facility with a group of banks to partially refinance the telecom’s €750m Euro-denominated bond (c.$880m) due 20 May 2021.
The financial institutions were Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citibank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Standard Chartered Bank and two Indian relationship banks, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, the company said in a statement signed by Simoon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary.
It stated, “The new committed facility consists of a combination of a revolving credit facility and term loans with tenor of up to 4 years. The facility will be used to partially refinance the Group’s €750m Euro-denominated bond (c.$880m) due 20 May 2021.
“The balance of the Euro-denominated bond will be repaid with existing Group cash to reduce gross debt and associated interest costs. The new loan facility further strengthens the core liquidity of the Group.”
Etisalat and Nokia Provide Ultra-fast 5G Broadband Services in the UAE
Etisalat, one of the leading telecommunications operators in emerging markets recognized by Ookla® Speedtest® as the world’s fastest mobile network in 2020, together with Nokia, as a key partner, has deployed 5G network, providing enhanced mobile broadband services and expanding 5G coverage and revenue opportunities. Nokia’s 5G portfolio supports Etisalat’s mission of driving the digital future to empower societies.
Etisalat has a proven history of bringing the latest in technology and broadband services to the United Arab Emirates to support economic growth and innovation. Similarly, Etisalat is building an autonomous 5G network using Etisalat A3 platform, where Nokia has worked with Etisalat to deliver best-in-class customer experience, as 5G’s ultra-high bandwidth and low-latency enrich service offerings and transform business models. 5G capabilities enable innovative applications in areas such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). It also addresses Industry 4.0 opportunities to benefit enterprises from various Internet of Things (IoT) use cases in areas such as energy, healthcare, education, transport and entertainment, providing new revenue opportunities.
Haitham Abdulrazzak, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat said: “As a true pioneer, we have always embraced the latest technologies to drive the Digital Future to empower society. Accordingly, we are building an autonomous 5G network and are very excited about how 5G can transform industrial and consumer services. The 5G services we have rolled out truly enhances lifestyles and delivers significant gains in productivity in the UAE, contributing to the national innovation strategy.”
Saeed Al Zarouni, SVP, Mobile Network, Etisalat, added: “Etisalat’s technical teams have closely worked with Nokia to build the 5G network smoothly and enabled 5G coverage with ultra-high speed and low latency services in the UAE. The high capacity 5G network also allows us to provide services to a large number of customers. Rolling out 5G network is in line with our focus on digital innovation and investments in next generation telecom technologies.”
Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “With this deployment, Nokia is supporting Etisalat achieve its vision of driving the digital future. Along with consumers’ expectation to get the latest telecom services experience, the current period has also shone a spotlight on just how important networks are for people and businesses. With this next generation 5G network deployment, we are excited to continue our longstanding collaboration with Etisalat to deliver the full transformational benefits of 5G.”
Nokia has deployed its AirScale radio platform, based on 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standards. The network uses massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (mMIMO) radio technology to improve network capacity, provide broader coverage and increase network speeds.
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