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NSIA, IFC To Stake $500m Into Renewable Energy Development In Nigeria



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Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in partnership with the International Finance Corporation ( IFC) World Bank’s investment outlet is committing $500 million to renewable energy projects in Nigeria.

NSIA’s intervention in renewable energy is being carried out via its latest outlet – Renewables Investment Platform for Limitless Energy (RIPLE). Under RIPLE, the Authority in conjunction with IFC would be undertaking a pilot initiative located within the Tokarawa Industrial Hub in Kano State

It involves setting up a generation and distribution system to meet 70MW of unsuppressed energy demands of industrial activities, commercial enterprises, and residential customers in an area covering about 9,000 connections.

The project will be extended to other parts of the country in the course of time.

NSIA and IFC signed a formal agreement on renewable energy over the weekend in Abuja. The agreement entails NSIA committing $25 million as a seed investment to the project.

Speaking to reporters at the event sidelines, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of NSIA, Mr Aminu Umar – Sadiq described the moment watershed.

“I think this is a watershed moment for the renewable energy space in Nigeria. We are hoping that this fund we are targeting, about $500 million will focus on renewable energy space in general. The strategy is in three folds.

“The first is around diesel displacement, the second is around franchising in general, and then the third is around the backward integration towards PV manufacturing in Nigeria ”

“Naturally, we start with a proof of consent project with baby steps. However, as always the ambition of the NSIA and the IFC as it relates to this fund, is to scale up; to be able to go large.

“We are hopeful that in the course of time, we’ll begin to feel the impact of projects that we are co-developing as well as co-executing for the benefits of Nigeria and Nigerians”, explained NSIA MD.

Speaking about funds commitment, he said $25 million was pledged by the NSIA as committed capital. The IFC, he added was also co-developing transactions up north by a franchise project of 70 megawatts in Kano state. He estimated the project should be delivered within a space of three to four years.

” There are a number of important considerations within your control and there are also a number out of your control. Typically in executing a large-scale infrastructure project, you are talking about three to four years. We are hopeful we should be able to implement a couple of our initial projects within that time.

“Upon the conclusion, by the time we’ve basically gone very far in implementing our first couple of projects, and we have a proof of consent in terms of the portfolio of projects that we can show external investors, then we’ll embark upon that we looking at about two to two and a half years”, he said.

Sadiq was confident Nigeria will overcome her power challenge.

” We are investors but by the grace of God that is the ambition- to be able to meet our power deficit through the generation of sustainable, renewable energy in Nigeria”.

Speaking in an interview, Mr Dan Craft, IFC Regional Manager ( Africa)  underscored IFC’s interest on the renewable energy project in Nigeria.

“We are pretty much interested in everything you heard in that speech- access, efficiency, security, all on a climate-friendly basis. Our interest in the project is, working with credible partners who are committed to the long term to develop a project on a fully sustainable basis, delivering the most cost-effective power, as clean as possible. It’s all good. This is our interest in the project. We would love to find more partners like NSIA, but they don’t grow on trees”.

” At this early stage, what we’re working on is, development capital to seed the platform. But whenever we do this, it’s with a longer-term investment horizon. We’re not interested in just the upfront seed.

“In fact, if there is no long-term horizon, then we don’t do the first bit either. So what we’re looking at, is enough on a percentage share basis to get the thing moving. And then as more projects enter, the funding will follow.

Essentially, we don’t really have an upper limit for what we would like to finance in this space. Our problem is finding the opportunities to do so, which is why we’re so excited about this”, said IFC Regional Manager.

He said investment in renewable energy isn’t a new terrain as according to him, “We have done a number of renewable energy investments in solar and wind and hydro and transmission and distribution”.

“Like I said when I was speaking, it’s about finding the right way into the market. Bringing any of those solutions off the shelf doesn’t tend to work. This is the first step.

And as far as I know, certainly on the African continent, this is the first one of these we’ve done in terms of a platform”, he said.


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El-Rufai to Launch New $100m Firm in January



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Nasir El-Rufai, former governor, Kaduna State has announced that his Afri-Venture Capital Company, a venture capital/private equity firm, will begin operations in 2024.

El-Rufai to Launch New $100m Firm in January

Nasir El-Rufai, former governor, Kaduna State

El-Rufai, in a post on X, said through the firm, he hopes to finance, nurture, and mentor Nigerian innovators and entrepreneurs to become the next Dangote Group shortly.

The former governor said he would be working with private sector partners, including Eyo Ekpo, co-founder of Excredite Consulting Limited, among others.

“I can confirm that our VC-PE firm, Afri-Venture Capital Company Ltd will by the Grace of God, begin operations initially in Abuja in January 2024 with Jimi Lawal, Hafiz Bayero, Eyo Ekpo and Kabir Yabo as founding directors and initial shareholders. I am privileged to be the part-time Chairman of the Board.

“Please, pray for our success and the Nigerian (and in the near future African) innovators and entrepreneurs we hope to finance, nurture, and mentor to be the Dangote Group of the future,” the former governor wrote on X.

The plan, he said, was to launch a $100 million venture capital fund for startups in Nigeria, particularly those in the Kaduna tech ecosystem, according to BusinessDay.

El-Rufai, speaking on his new firm and his plans,  said Nigerian youths need mentoring and financing to achieve the needed breakthrough.

“What young people need is essentially mentoring and financing to get things going. They develop the idea and see whether it is viable. And we will open doors for them because they don’t have contact.

“They don’t know or have access to ministers, presidents, or regulatory agencies. We do. We know the minefields that they have to navigate. We know that they need to give them appointments and we can provide them with the startup funding and in return we take an equity position.

“We don’t want to take your business; we want to develop it. But if we take the risk on you, we will take a percentage of the business,” El-Rufai told BusinessDay, in Marrakech, Morocco, in November during the Africa Investment Forum.

According to BusinessDay, El-Rufai is willing to stake $2 million of his money for the offtake of the ($100m) fund and plans to convince investors to provide the remaining funding.

“The investors will mostly be those who believe in us but don’t have the capacity or the time to do the analysis and evaluation. But they trust our judgment and they will come with us,” El-Rufai said.

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Deimos Announces Strategic Partnership with Cloudflare on Web Security and Performance



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Deimos, a leading technology solutions provider in Africa, is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Cloudflare, Inc., the leading connectivity cloud company.

This strategic partnership marks a significant milestone in Deimos’ journey to become the leading cloud-native technology company on the African continent, while also reinforcing its commitment to driving innovation, security, and efficiency in the cloud services landscape.

This collaboration will serve as a catalyst for businesses seeking to bolster their online presence while safeguarding their digital assets from emerging threats. By integrating Cloudflare’s offerings and partnering with Deimos, African businesses can now use world-class technology while paying in their local currency.

This democratisation of advanced cloud services ensures that African businesses of all sizes, across various industries, including fintech, e-commerce, healthcare, education, can compete on a global scale while safeguarding their digital infrastructure.

“Today, we take another step towards our vision of becoming Africa’s premier cloud-native technology company. By combining Deimos’ extensive knowledge of the African market with Cloudflare’s cutting-edge solutions to make the Internet more performant, reliable, secure and private, we are empowering African businesses to thrive in the digital age,” said Andrew Mori, CEO Deimos. “This collaboration aligns with our mission to provide innovative and reliable technology solutions to businesses of all sizes across Africa.”

African businesses will benefit immensely from Cloudflare’s robust cybersecurity solutions, which protects them from threats like DDoS attacks, data breaches, and malicious bots.

This level of security is crucial for safeguarding sensitive customer information and maintaining business continuity, ensuring that companies can operate without disruptions or security breaches.

Furthermore, with Cloudflare’s extensive global network spanning 310 cities worldwide, African businesses can expect faster website loading times and reduced latency for their local and international customers.

This performance boost can lead to increased customer satisfaction and higher conversion rates, offering a competitive advantage in our fast-paced digital environment.

The Deimos-Cloudflare partnership represents a transformative force in Africa’s technology landscape, empowering businesses with state-of-the-art cyber security and performance solutions tailored to the unique needs of the continent. Together, Deimos and Cloudflare are paving the way for a new era of digital innovation, growth, and prosperity for African businesses.


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SERAP Tells Akpabio to Reject Wike’s Proposal in 2024 Budget



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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Mr Godswill Akpabio, Senate president, to use his leadership position “to promptly reject the plan by Nyesom Wike, minister of the FCT, to spend N15 billion for the construction of ‘a befitting residence’ for Mr Kashim Shettima, vice president.”

SERAP Tells Akpabio to Reject Wike’s Proposal in 2024 Budget

SERAP also urged Akpabio to “assert Senate’s authority and constitutional oversight roles to reject the N2.8 billion on publicity for the FCTA and other proposed wasteful and unnecessary spending that may be contained in the 2023 supplementary budget and the 2024 budget proposed by President Bola Tinubu.”

In the letter signed by, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP deputy director ,at the weekend, the organisation said: “The plan to spend N15 billion on ‘a befitting residence’ for the vice president is a fundamental breach of the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s international anticorruption and human rights obligations.”

SERAP said: “The Senate has the constitutional duties to ensure that Mr Wike’s proposed spending is entirely consistent and compatible with constitutional provisions including his oath of office. All public officials remain subject to the rule of law.

“The National Assembly including the Senate has a constitutional responsibility to address the country’s debt crisis, including by rejecting wasteful and unnecessary spending to satisfy the personal comfort and lifestyles of public officials.”

The group added that, “The National Assembly cannot continue to fail to fulfil its oversight function. The Senate must assert and demonstrate its independence by checking and rejecting all wasteful and unnecessary spending by the executive.

“It would be a grave violation of the public trust and constitutional oath of office for the Senate to approve the plan to spend N15 billion on ‘a befitting residence’ for the vice president at a time when the Federal Government is set to spend 30% (that is, N8.25 trillion) of the country’s 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion on debt service costs.

“The Federal Government also plans to borrow N7.8 trillion to fund the 2024 budget. Nigeria’s public debt stood at 87.4 trillion naira as of June with 38% owed to external creditors including multilateral and commercial lenders.

“Should the Senate and its leadership fail to stop wasteful and unnecessary spending and rein in government borrowing, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly including the Senate to discharge its constitutional oversight roles in the public interest.

“SERAP urges you to refer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) the allegations of corruption in the spending of the previously approved N7 billion for the construction of a new residence for the vice president.

“The ‘construction’ was reportedly abandoned but the whereabouts of the N7 billion remain unknown.

“The Senate has the constitutional competence and legitimacy to compel compliance with the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s international obligations.

“The Senate ought to assert its authority and vigorously exercise its constitutional oversight roles to check the apparently wasteful and unnecessary spending by Mr Wike especially given the growing debt crisis and the indiscriminate borrowing by the government.

“It is a travesty and a fundamental breach of the lawmakers’ fiduciary duties for the National Assembly to allow the executive to use the national budget as a tool to satisfy the comfort and lifestyle of public officials.

“Nigerians have a right to honest and faithful performance by their public officials including lawmakers, as public officials owe a fiduciary duty to the general citizenry.

“Cutting the N15 billion on ‘a befitting residence’ from the FTCA budget would be entirely consistent with your constitutional oath of office, and the letter and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution, as it would promote efficient, honest, and legal spending of public money.

“According to our information, the Minister of the FCT, Nysom Wike and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) plan to spend N15 billion for the construction of ‘a befitting residence’ for the Vice-President, Mr Kashim Shettima.

“The plan is contained in the N67 billion FCT supplementary budget which President Bola Tinubu had on Tuesday transmitted to the National Assembly for approval.

“SERAP notes that Mr Wike proposed plan to spend N15 billion on a new residence for the vice president despite the recent allocation of N2.5 billion for the renovation of the current residence of the VP in the federal government’s supplementary budget already passed by the National Assembly and signed by President Tinubu.

“The House of Representatives has reportedly approved the plan to spend N15 billion on ‘a befitting residence’ for the vice president.

“The National Assembly has also approved another N3 billion for the renovation of the vice president’s residence in Lagos State. Mr Wike also plans to spend N2.8 billion on publicity for the FCTA.

“The proposed plan to spend 15 billion on ‘a befitting residence’ for the vice president is different from the


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