Ojo, Ayodele Anthony, the Country Manager, D.light, a global solution energy company and pioneer in delivering affordable solar-powered solutions to people in the developing world, in a recent interview with Vanguard, highlighted the electricity deficiency in Nigeria and the need to embrace renewable energy.
Ojo said; “In Nigeria, about 45 per cent of the population are not connected to the national grid, which is almost 95 million people. Providing light for those people is the target for Nigeria. Even those connected to the grid have unstable access to the grid. The average access is less than six hours. So you can see how wide the energy gap is. Data shows that Nigeria needs 80,000 megawatts of electricity to meet its household and industrial energy requirements. As of today, the most we have ever generated is around 7,000 megawatts. This means Nigeria is not generating up to 10 per cent of her needs. The gap is huge – that is why D.light Nigeria works to bridge that gap in our own little way by providing portable solar lights as part of our contribution to providing immediate solutions to households in need, while they climb the energy ladder with our products.”
Ojo noted that D.light has been in Nigeria for seven years now. The first three years, it had a distribution partnership with a distribution company, but in the last four years, D.light has been operating as a full-fledged, tax-paying company of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. On challenges faced, Ojo said; “In the first three years, the challenge has been penetrating the Nigerian market. In the last four years, there has been an array of challenges. There was a change in government. Naira was devalued. Capital was lost. Getting the right manpower and designing the right product for Nigeria. At the consumer level, trust was an issue. People did not know about solar energy. Initially many people did not trust us, as they hadn’t seen this concept before. Renewable energy was not popular. There is also high import duty on products that are meant to alleviate poverty. The duty is as high as 30 per cent. Nigeria is probably the country that pays the highest duty on renewable energy products in the world.”