“I do not think anyone in Nigeria needs persuading of the need for urgent action on the environment. Desertification in the north, floods in ... the centre, pollution and erosion on the coast are enough evidence. For Nigeria, climate change is not about the perils of tomorrow, but what is happening today,” President Muhammadu Buhari said during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in October. And today means Nigerians are finding it increasingly hard to afford basic food items.
The company supplies pay-as-you-go solar home systems. Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest market for diesel generators, has the potential to become “the world’s largest off-grid market,” Hamayun says in London. Nearly half of the population has no access to electricity, and many of those who do face an “extremely unreliable” grid, he says.
According to the World Bank, lack of reliable power costs Nigeria $26.2bn (about 2% of GDP), per year. In February, the bank approved $500m to support improvements in electricity distribution, including investment in on- and off-grid renewable energy. The World Bank’s involvement is one factor that led Bboxx to enter the market, Hamayun says. “The starting point is great.”