FCMB introduces the Energy Finance Loan Product to households, SMEs for Clean Energy

First City Monument Bank (FCMB or the "Bank") recently introduced Energy Finance Loan which provides up to ₦10 million to Nigerian homes and small businesses for the purchase of solar panels, batteries, inverters, and other green energy equipment. The Bank noted that the loan facility is designed to unlock the potentials of the renewable and clean energy sector, provide relief to Nigerians, with specific focus on the key social institutions such as hospitals, schools, hotels, etc. and small businesses. The product is also expected to encourage adoption of clean energy amongst the target institutions and businesses. It is no news that the removal of subsidies on petrol, which is a major source of energy for most Nigerian households and small businesses, has impacted the cost of living and doing business in Nigeria. This has also seen a shift in focus by most affected businesses towards renewable energy solutions, though limited by the initial cost of uptake.

The Managing Director of the Bank noted that the Energy Finance Loan is a bold intervention by the Bank to unlock the potential of the renewable and clean energy sector and improve uptake of green solutions amongst Nigerian small businesses. It is also a reaffirmation of the Bank's commitment to eco-friendly energy finance. Access to constant and sustainable energy remains a key catalyst for economic growth and business development. Therefore, it is expected that the ability of households and small businesses in Nigeria to access the facility should spur economic growth.

International Customers in Benin, Togo, Niger Owe Nigeria US$16.11million for Electricity Consumed

According to the recently released National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)'s 2023 quarterly report, international electricity customers failed to remit US$16.11 million to the market operator in the first quarter of 2023. The defaulting customers include Société Béninoise d'Energie Electrique (SBEE) of the Benin Republic which owed a cumulative sum of US$7.31million, Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo (CEET) owed a sum of US$3.32million and NIGELECelectric power generation and transmission utility in Niger owed US$5.48million. A similar occurrence was reported for bilateral customers in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). Based on the report, out of the ₦842.38million invoice value, issued to the eight bilateral customers, only one bilateral customer made a partial payment of ₦15.38million against an invoice of ₦24.69million issued to it by the market operator.

NERC bemoaned that the non-payment by customers is a perennial issue in the NESI and will continue to impact the liquidity of the industry if not addressed definitively.

You would recall that the issue of liquidity and non-payment for energy supplied affected the implementation of both the Power Purchase Agreement and bilateral power contracts introduced by NERC (which would have allowed the direct sale of power from Generation Companies (GenCos) to Distribution Companies (DisCos).

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