African Development Bank Group (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina has commended the Sahara Group, the largest privately-owned power generation and distribution business in sub-Saharan Africa, for boosting power supply in Nigeria, through its Egbin Power Plant and Ikeja Electric Plc.
Speaking at Sahara Group’s 25th Anniversary celebration, Adesina emphasised the need for Africa to achieve universal access to electricity as soon as possible.
He urged Sahara Group to sustain its role in setting industry standards for environmental sustainability, spearheading the transition to renewable energy, and accelerating affordable electricity access to low-income households and small and medium-size enterprises.
The African Development Bank Group’s Desert to Power initiative, which is geared towards building the world’s largest solar zone in the Sahel of Africa, covers eleven countries including Nigeria.
The project, according to Adesina, is expected to provide electricity for 250 million people while generating unprecedented investment opportunities valued at more than $20 billion.
The AfDB President said private sector players such as the Sahara Group, should take advantage of these investment opportunities by providing centralised, off-grid and mini-grid energy solutions; and by taking advantage of Africa’s rapid digitalization and mobile payment systems that enable low-income customers to access electricity more efficiently, flexibly and cost-effectively.