Not once, twice, or even thrice have Nigerians suffered the consequences of a collapsing national grid this year alone. As the countdown begins for the remaining days of 2022, many Nigerians are silently hoping the country will not experience another dark phase due to a national grid collapse.
Over the years, Nigerians have learned to put up with darkness, harbouring it as their neighbour who could come knocking at any point. Some people have even grown accustomed to it.
But with companies like Robert Riches, solar energy could disrupt the energy system in Nigeria, paving the way for a brighter Nigeria.
Speaking during Nairametrics’ Business Half Hour, the CEO of Robert Riches, Akinyemi Odusami, shared his thought on the use of solar energyin Nigeria. According to him, solar could soon phase out generator usage in a few years. He said:
“With everything going on now in terms of the high cost of getting fuel and even the natural grid always collapsing, people are now venturing into the solar inverters. So now it’s the cheapest compared to every other form of energy.
“If you calculate how much is spent on filling the generator and on prepaid from the National Grid and how efficient it is. You will see that solar is way cheaper than any of these other forms of energy.”
Although solar energy is considered the cheapest for consumers, it, however, requires huge capital to start up a solar business. And to solve this, solar companies are partnering with financial institutions and investors to design a system that ensures customers get the product at affordable prices anywhere they are.
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These partnerships can help a solar company like Robert Riches to give their customers reasonable interest rates and also to break down payment to its simplest form so that customers can pay in instalments.
“Since we offer instalment payment, we will profile the clients through our partners and they make an initial deposit after which they are given the benefit of paying within three to six months at a reasonable interest rate.
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“Let’s say in the average home, what you need is light, a fan, and a television. There is a system for that and if you want to add heavy appliances too, there are systems too for that. We work with your needs and budgets,” Odunsami explained.
Beyond just providing solar, Odusami explained that the solar company also ensures to stay with the customers all through the journey.
“When we have clients, the first thing we do is to go to the person’s home or business to take energy assessments, and afterwards, we recommend the system for the client. When everything has been agreed upon, we install it for the clients. Also, from time to time we check on our clients to see that the system is functioning well and is meeting their needs,” he noted.
He added that Robert Riches can deliver quality service by using genuine materials to ensure that clients get value for their money.
He noted that there have been better reception of solar energy in recent times as more people continue to enquire about it daily. However, he pointed out that one of the challenges in the field is tied to the excess import duties on solar.
“The reason we are yet to see a lot of investors come in is because of the initial cost of acquiring this system. As a result of the dwindling exchange rate, things are getting more expensive and it’s discouraging people from getting a solar system. But if the government can reduce import duties or give an incentive, making it cheaper to acquire these materials, I think people will go for it too.”
While a lot of people feel that making solar panels here in Nigeria would be a better option, Odusami explained that Nigeria lacks the required technology to create its solar.
“Solar panels are made of silicon and they last. The batteries used are either lead acid or lithium and others. Maybe because of the economy, I think it’s cheaper to import it than to make it here. I don’t think we have the technology to do that now as a country.”
Robert Riches wants to help millions of people to install solar panels within the shortest period. More importantly, the company said it is keen on ensuring that clients have value for their money whilst also helping to solve environmental issues with clean energy.