Two Nigerian banks, Access Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA) have partnered with foreign development agency of France, Agence Francais de Development (AFD), to invest C74 million in renewable energy, just as the French Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mrs Delphine Geny-Stephann, has pledged skill transfer from their companies .
According to the minister, who gave the promise Wednesday in Lagos at France-Nigeria Business Forum, French companies are widely-recognised for their expertise in renewable energy, Agriculture, technology and smart cities development, adding that the two countries can do much together to help exchanges between their start-ups.
“France to Europe is widely known for innovation. And so is Nigeria to Africa – as we can see from the development of the Yabacon Valley, in Lagos. Our two countries can do much together. Links have already been developed between the Co-Creation Hub and Paris&Co, in order to help exchanges between French and Nigerian start-ups. We must go further. Several Nigerian companies have taken part in the last VivaTech show in Paris. I hope their number will quickly increase over the next few years,” Mrs Geny-Stephann, added.
The Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) programme for 74 million Euros, to be co-financed by AFD and the European Union(EU), is geared towards energy effi- ciency and renewable energy investments in Nigeria. It was launched by Mr Remy Rioux, Director General of AFD, Herbert Wigwe, Managing Director of Access Bank, Vic- tor Osadolor, Deputy Man- aging Director, UBA, Frank Ubemba Jacobs, President of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Mrs Geny-Stephann,.
On renewable energies, the French minister said they are also key to rise to the challenge of climate change. “One can already find examples of cooperation on this question. “But we can do much more for the welfare of Nigerian people to offer a better access to electricity. Renewable energies are also key in rising to the challenge of climate change.”