mega888 Vanuatu Business Review » Navara Savings & Credit Cooperative secures VT6M funding from SPC

Navara Savings & Credit Cooperative secures VT6M funding from SPC

The Vanuatu based SPC Regional Director, Mia Rimon, with some of the NSCL members. The Letter of Agreement was signed by the Deputy Director General Paula Vivili on behalf of SPCBy Glenda Willie

The Navara Savings & Credit Cooperative Society Limited (NSCL) has been awarded VT6 million from the SPC, through the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE).

The funding will go towards a project, aiming at promoting renewable energy business start-Ups, entrepreneurs in the rural areas of Vanuatu, targeting public institutions such schools, clinics and the vulnerable groups including women and other special needs (Clients).

This project is directly inline with the National Energy Road Map (NERM) as well as all the three (3) pillars under the National Sustainable Development Goal.

The NSCL is a registered cooperative in Vanuatu under the Office of the Registrar of Cooperatives and Business Service Development. Their main objective is to promote the social and economic interests of its members in accordance with cooperative principles.

PCREEE is was established by the Pacific Ministers of Energy and infrastructure and Transport as a regional center for excellence operating under the Pacific Community (SPC).

The center assists the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) to address existing barriers and strengthen drivers for sustainable energy markets, industries and innovation. PCREEE is co-hosted by the SPC and the Government of Tonga.

The NGEF is a national vehicle designed to assist the Government to achieve the NERM targets through investment in renewable energy technology and infrastructure across Vanuatu while the Vanuatu Rural Electrification Project Phase 2 (VREP 2) is a project that aims to set standards in the solar systems as well providing a 33% subsidy to certified systems to address affordability.

The VREP 2 project targets off-grid areas, or areas with no existing power supply.

This project will be implemented through collaboration between the National Green Energy Fund (NGEF), the Vanuatu Rural Electrification Project (VREP), PCREEE and the NSCL.

Charlie Namaka, a member of NSCL talked about the establishment of NSCL. “The NSCL cooperative was established in 2009, with the initial idea of developing a savings and loans cooperative, intended to financially help the members of the cooperative. In the beginning of 2021, the members decided to open up the society to non-members.

“In August 2021, the NSCL bylaw was amended so to expand its products and services which includes providing loan to non-members.”

“When we found out about the funding, we talked about how we could support the local entrepreneurs and disadvantaged people living in the rural and remotes part of Vanuatu.

“Because it relates to energy, we know that energy is the catalyst of development, so we incorporated the two,” Joseph Temakon, another member of NSCL explained.

It has been agreed that NSCL subsidize the costs of renewable energy for Clients who wish to invest on system from VREP 2. VREP2 will commit its 33% contribution to the system costs. There is an annual interest of 6% for NGEF.

“We target renewable energy. Interested customers or clients will have to deposit 20% of the cost of the system with us. With the funding from PCREEE, the NSCL will put another 20%, and release the loan in the form of a solar system with a particular productive use equipment, e.g. sewing machine, freezer, virgin oil grinder, water pump or any other money making device.”

Any interested individual who fits the Client definition may apply, but conditions do apply.

Government workers are more preferred to apply, as the NSCL have direct links to their payments or salaries for security purposes.

If a person does not work for the government, but has a close relative who is a government employee, and they agree to sign the guarantee, then they can be given a loan.