Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, and the second largest off-grid energy market in the world, trailing only behind India. According to the International Energy Agency, around 77 million Nigerians are either underserved by, or completely lack access to, the national electricity grid. In this article, we will be viewing how the presence and growth of the solar energy industry has positively promoted the employment rate and welfare of numerous Nigerians.
The country’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 is 27.1% indicating that about 21.7 million Nigerians remain unemployed.
This is contained in a recently released unemployment data report published by the National Bureau of Statistics. Nigeria’s unemployment rate was 23.1% in the third quarter of 2018 confirming it increased by 4% points between then and the second quarter of 2020.
Without a doubt, power has been the major constraint on economic growth in Nigeria for decades with less than 30% of businesses having access to grid electricity. The transition to work from home for some Nigerians, as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, has further highlighted the challenge. With Nigerians spending over $12 billion per annum buying and operating diesel generators, the high cost of power has been a drag on company growth and profits.
But the lack of a reliable national grid has created a large opportunity for solar off-grid solutions, both at a household and industrial level. Solar companies are pioneering solar energy options at a large scale in markets that house tens of thousands of micro-businesses.
Technology and entrepreneurship is the solution to eradicating the unemployment gap in the country” says Peter Ojike, the Director of Wavetra Energy LTD
The presence of a clean and green solution to the energy gap in Nigeria not only saves citizens the extra cost, but also eases the rate of unemployment in the nation.
Over the last few years, it has been on record that the solar industry alone has created over 100,000 jobs worldwide. Evidently, the sporadic growth of renewable energy industry has made room for creation of jobs and employment.
The solar industry has a wide accommodation for different professions.
Companies have scaled up and more are being incorporated into the industry every year, one of such companies in Gombe state of Nigeria, owned by an indigenous youth has employed over 10 staff in a period of one year. More like a ripple effect, stories like these are numerous and the awareness of the merits derived from the renewable energy industry are made evident so that Nigerian citizens stay informed and have a strong understanding on the opportunities that lay ahead of the continuous growth of the country worldwide and particularly in a developing country such as Nigeria.