Four Nigerian companies on Wednesday emerged winners of the Power Africa Off-Grid Challenge sponsored by three multinational development organisations.
NAN reports that the Off-Grid Challenge is part of Power Africa, U.S President Obama’s initiative to increase access to reliable, affordable, cleaner and more sustainable power in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The sponsors ar the General Electric (GE), the U.S-Africa Development Foundation (USADF) and the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID).
Mr Phip Griffit, the GE Africa’s Global Supply Chain Leader, announced the winners during the Innovation Barometer Award of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge in Lagos.
He said each of the companies would receive a grant of 100,000 dollars (N16 million).
He also said the grant would be deployed to power socio-economic activities within communities in Nigeria that were not connected to the national grid.
The winners are Ginphed Nigeria Limited, based in Cross River State and Quintas Renewable Energy Solutions, based in Ofosu Community of Ondo State.
Other are Sky Resources Ltd., based in Nawgu Community of Anambra and Topstep Nigeria based in Kaduna State.
Griffit said that the winners joined other grant winners from Liberia, Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya.
He said that 300 entries were received across the continent.
According to him, GE is impressed with the quality of the projects and the thinking that had gone into them.
“This further validates our belief that adequate investment in human capital is a key driver of socio-economic growth,” he said.
Presenting cheques to the winners, Mr James Entwistle, the U. S. Ambassador to Nigeria, commended GE and partners for bringing Power Africa initiative to life on the continent.
He said that the fact that some communities were already benefiting from this effort in Nigeria and Kenya was very fulfilling to the U.S government.
The three-year initiative was launched in 2013 with six winners drawn from Kenya and Nigeria receiving N16 million towards renewable energy projects.
The final round of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge will take place in 2015. (NAN)
Source : Leadership