Tizeti secures debt financing to expand solar-based internet access in Nigeria

By bne IntelliNews November 2, 2023

Tizeti Network Limited, West Africa’s pioneer solar-based internet service provider, has secured long-term financing from Chapel Hill Denham’s Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (NIDF) to finance the rollout of its broadband network across 15 states in Nigeria.

“We are excited to announce the closing of this new debt facility with Nigeria’s largest infrastructure debt fund,” commented Tizeti’s founder and CEO, Kendall Ananyi, in a press release. “We see tremendous opportunity for domestic capital in addressing digital exclusion barriers in Nigeria and this partnership will hopefully be one of many.”

Tizeti will use the senior debt facility to build last-mile digital infrastructure and “catalyse sustained development, value creation, improved connectivity, and a deeper and wider digital inclusion net”, he said. “This will also increase our coverage from five states and make us the largest internet service provider in Nigeria by coverage.”

The company currently serves over 3mn subscribers in Nigeria (residential facilities, businesses and hotspot users), via its network of solar-powered base stations. Tizeti will deploy the funds to build new internet infrastructure and purchase additional equipment to expand its services to Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Abia, Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abuja, Kano, and Kaduna.

NIDF is Nigeria’s largest and Africa’s first-ever listed infrastructure fund, providing long-term, Naira-denominated financing for infrastructure projects in Nigeria. It enables project sponsors to avoid the unsustainable mismatches of currency and tenor between their financing and their revenues/cash flows.

“Chapel Hill Denham is excited to partner Tizeti in the expansion of fast, reliable broadband network across Nigeria,” NIDF chief executive Anshul Rai said.

“Digital economy is a key strategic pillar for Nigeria to accelerate its economic and social development, and providing access to affordable internet services is crucial to achieve the true potential of digitisation.

“We continue to work with all stakeholders to support accelerated development of digital infrastructure in Nigeria by providing access to long-term, Naira-denominated financing for such projects – thus realising the government’s vision of reaching 70% broadband penetration by 2025.”

With its current capital base of over NGN92bn ($117mn), NIDF has a diversified and growing portfolio of infrastructure loans in a broad range of sectors including power generation, energy infrastructure, transportation, telecom, and social infrastructure (education and healthcare).

NIDF’s investor base includes the African Development Bank (AfDB), Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), and nearly all the pension funds operating in Nigeria.

Tizeti is also expanding rapidly to other African countries, with successful launches in Accra and Tema, Ghana, and has expanded to Cote D’Ivoire. 

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