By Dipo Olowookere
Off-grid solar system has been tipped to transform Nigeria’s small-business economy because access to power has been a major constraint for Nigeria’s SMEs.
However, thousands are now using the Lumos Mobile Electricity service, which provides customers with reliable, clean, affordable solar electricity.
A recent survey conducted by NOIPolls revealed that 61 percent of SMEs in Nigeria spend between N500 – N1000 per day on fuel, and an ODI survey has indicated that as many as 85 percent of micro and small businesses rely on generators for supply of electricity.
With the Mobile Electricity service, costs are as low as N150 per day, or just N4,500 per month, which SMEs owners can easily afford.
According to the CEO of Lumos Nigeria, Mr Yuri Tsitrinbaum, availability of solar solutions will play an essential role in efforts to bridge the nation’s electricity supply gap.
Mr Tsitrinbaum noted that businesses without access to the grid find alternative electricity sources expensive, unreliable and dirty – many are now discovering that the clean energy wave sweeping across Africa can transform their fortunes.
Lumos’ Mobile Electricity service, in partnership with MTN, is an alternative to noisy, polluting generators. Available at MTN stores nationwide, the Y’ello Box is providing a solution to millions of Nigerians who don’t have access to reliable electricity.
Lumos, which has attracted major investors into the Nigerian economy, has witnessed a rapid rise in the number of SMEs thriving thanks to safe, reliable and affordable power from the Y’ello Box.
SMEs have found the Mobile Electricity service attractive as they can benefit both from its affordability and reliability, doing away with fuel and maintenance costs. With the Y’ello box, SMEs can increase their trading hours, and their profits.
On a visit to SMEs and health clinics using the Y’ello Box earlier this year, US Ambassador to Nigeria Stuart Symington praised the service for helping people keep their premises open later, adding that the service would help Nigeria “fulfil its full economic potential”.
Mr Tsitrinbaum further said, “We are witnessing a power revolution in Nigeria. Our everyday lives demand more access to electricity, and we need to meet that demand in order for businesses to grow. If we are to meet the true potential of the thriving business community here, access to power must follow the path of the mobile revolution.
“Today, Lumos is already providing clean and affordable solar power to more than 200,000 people, many of whom are business owners and households. By the end of the year, Lumos aims to provide 1 million Nigerians with access to reliable, clean and affordable electricity.”