Energy plays a vital role in economic growth, progress, and development yet an estimated 60-70% of communities in the Niger Delta are off grid, and those who are connected suffer from frequent outages. Improved access to dependable electricity for industry, business, micro-enterprises and households, coupled with other enabling factors, increases economic growth, generates meaningful employment and entrepreneurial opportunity. Recognising this, our 2015-2019 strategic plan put the development of programs to stimulate access to power and other utilities critical to pro-poor development at the heart of the next phase of PIND’s enabling environment work.
As is the PIND tradition, we began looking into this power sector by trying to understand the electricity value chain. Together with our U.S based strategic partner, Niger Delta Partnership initiative (NDPI), we partnered with DAI’s Extractives Group in 2015 to do an electricity value chain scoping study aimed at finding reliable information on the current market dynamics of the power sector in the Niger Delta and identifying opportunities (if any) for PIND and NDPI to engage in the sector to help bridge the gap that is currently a strong impediment to private sector market growth and productivity.
The insightful electricity value chain study report and follow up cluster and market demand information now serve as powerful advocacy tools. We have begun to use these to engage with various stakeholders in a bid to use our strong convening power to get cross-sector actors to work together to deliver new low-cost innovative energy solutions to underserved markets in the region.
Over the next years, we will continue the engagement of these key value chain actors, including government, private sector, and financial service providers towards piloting the power infrastructure innovation.