UK Government Launches Climate Finance Accelerator Nigeria, Calls For Proposals

 By Bukar Bolori 

The UK Government-funded CFA Nigeria has, opened a call for proposals for the Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) Nigeria programme. CFA Nigeria is a climate finance country platform designed to directly respond to the urgency and scale of the climate crisis in Nigeria, by mobilising finance for the country’s just transition to a resilient, low-carbon economy.

Project developers in Nigeria helping to tackle the climate crisis are invited to apply by completing the online application on or before the 17 February 2023. Interested project developers must be in pre-feasibility stage and should be seeking investment of at least USD$1 million with no upper limit.

Crowding in private finance at scale is essential to implementing Nigeria’s ambitious climate commitments articulated through Energy Transition Plan and Nationally Determined Contribution. A fraction of the funding necessary for the transition is considered to be available in the market, demonstrating the scale of the challenge and the immense opportunity.

British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Ben Llewellyn Jones, said:

“I’m delighted that the Climate Finance Accelerator Nigeria is now open for applications from low-carbon projects. The private sector has the potential to play a large part in helping to meet Nigeria’s climate change commitments and I’m excited to see what innovative projects apply.

“The CFA has already seen great success globally and in Nigeria and it is fantastic that Nigerian projects will continue to receive bespoke support from technical and financial experts to help increase their chances of securing investment. 

“The CFA builds on the UK’s climate leadership, as host of COP26 in Glasgow and is part of the UK’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s transition to a prosperous low carbon future.”

CFA Nigeria is a build-out of the pilot CFA launched in 2017 and was successfully established as an independent legal platform in 2022.  As a catalytic public-private initiative, CFA Nigeria offers substantial value to project developers, financial institutions and the Federal Government of Nigeria. It creates common ground for project developers and financial institutions to deploy blended finance, de-risk and fund low-carbon, resilient opportunities. It acts to improve the bankability of projects and public-private partnerships and to connect projects with financial institutions. It also identifies policy, regulatory and fiscal interventions to enable greater flows of finance and builds understanding and awareness of the climate finance supply chain between finance, business, and government.

In 2021-22 CFA Nigeria amassed a pipeline worth USD445 million and worked directly with innovative projects to engage Nigerian and global financiers. This year CFA Nigeria intends to expand its pipeline with two further calls for proposals. It engages extensively with Nigerian financial institutions and members of the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero Citibank and Standard Chartered to identify avenues by which finance can be made available to viable proponents.

The projects are expected to be selected from the country’s priority sectors according to Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution: renewable power, transport, energy efficiency, residential, oil and gas, agriculture, forestry and land use, waste and the circular economy, water, and industrial processes. Successful projects will receive one-to-one advice and support from technical, financial and gender equality and social inclusion experts to help them move closer to investment. The support will culminate in an event in June 2023 to bring project developers together with potential investors.

Dr. Uzo Egbuche, Team Leader of CFA Nigeria, said:

“CFA Nigeria is recognised as a country platform capable of deploying blended finance and leveraging private finance at scale. We are proud to have established ourselves as an independent legal entity in 2022 able to serve our core clients of financiers, developers and of course the Federal Government

“We invite all developers in the climate economy seeking finance to join the pipeline as we begin this next chapter in 2023.”

In addition to Nigeria, the CFA programme is also operational in Colombia, Egypt, Viet Nam, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa and Turkiye and is being delivered by PwC and Ricardo Energy & Environment. It is funded by the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is implemented in Nigeria with Adam Smith International as the in-country partner. 

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