By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
First City Monument Bank, (FCMB) has restated its commitment to Renewable Energy projects financing in Nigeria.
In an interview with our correspondent, Head of SME Advisory, First City Monument Bank, Oluyemi Rufai, said the impact of fossil fuels usage led to climate change.
According to him, lot of countries are embracing clean energy in form of renewable energy either solar, hydro and wind energy adding that this necessitated the bank bringing in experts across the value chain to the workshop.
In his words, “The Renewable Energy space is an emerging sector. If you look back a few years ago, not really many people embraced clean energy but the conversation globally today is about the impact of our usage of fossil fuels in the environment which is leading to climate change. A lot of countries are embracing clean energy in form of renewable energy either solar, hydro and wind energy.
“In Nigeria, despite the gap we have in our energy space i.e. the demand-supply gap running into thousands of megawatts, we are yet to move into the sector and for us as a Bank, this is a way to promote clean energy and key into a sustainable world. Renewable Energy will bring about a sustainable world for everybody.
“We decided to bring in experts across the energy value chain around clean energy to come enlighten our customers which is a knowledge impact for SMES. We have quite a number of customers in that area and some have delivered different projects in various communities.
“Some of them are from the financing area, financing experts to come and teach the key requirements to be able to access different type of funding that are available including the challenges.
“It is a knowledge impacting conference and it is really helping our customers and participants to improve their knowledge in renewable energy,” he said.
Speaking further, he said it is capital intensive to conduct a market research on the sector hence the SEFI Workshop was able to address the strategic areas for both mini-grids and off-grid solutions.
“If you look at Access to Market and in terms of Market Research, it is usually capital intensive to do a nationwide Market Research in this aspect. If I am an entrepreneur within the renewable energy space, which market should I target? Where do I take my solutions to?
“This is very critical. The SEFI Workshop was able to address the strategic areas for both mini-grids and off-grid solutions. Some speakers addressed these areas as they mapped out some specific areas across Nigeria where off-grid and mini-grid solutions can be deployed.
“On the side of Access to Market, looking at Access to Funding we had minimum of two financing institutions and investors who spoke about the key requirements of funding after you may have done your business plan and market research, identify key areas where there are opportunities to sell your products and the next thing is how do you facilitate the business?
“This is where funding comes to play,” he stated.
Speaking on some of the Projects financed by the bank, he said, “we are funding and we will keep funding. In the past, one of the customers we funded also spoke at the SEFI event.
“As a Bank, we have some branches that are powered by solar energy. We are fully committed in that area,” he added.